Airbus Poised to Cut 1,000 Jobs in Drive to Streamline Business

  • Company has chosen 780 posts for elimination with more to come
  • Plan also includes closing Suresnes research site near Paris

Airbus Group SE is poised to scrap an estimated 1,000 office jobs as the European aerospace giant moves to eliminate duplication between its main plane-making arm and the rest of the group.

Airbus has identified 780 posts in public affairs, legal, IT and other white-collar functions as surplus to requirements and will specify further cuts at its human resources and finance departments in meetings Thursday, according to a CFDT union official. The group employed 137,000 people as of July.

Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders is trimming the Airbus workforce in a push to streamline operations and abolish the last vestiges of a complex structure adopted on its creation via a merger of French, German and Spanish companies in 2000. Some 582 jobs are already going at its helicopter unit as the lower price of crude hurts demand from the oil industry, while reduced output of the slow-selling A380 superjumbo could also cost more posts.

All of the office positions due to go are in France and Germany, the union official said, adding that the reorganization will also involve shutting an engineering-research facility at Suresnes, outside Paris, though workers there will be relocated. The CFDT and CFTC union both said that final figures on job cuts are due to be presented next Tuesday.

Airbus declined to comment, saying in an an e-mail that no decision on the ultimate tally has yet been taken and that it is engaged in an “ongoing social process.”

Enders, who has effectively merged the Airbus jet arm into its parent, warned in September that staff should brace themselves for a “not negligible” headcount adjustment, while adding that it wouldn’t approach the 8,000 job cuts that resulted from a restructuring ordered in 2007.

French newspaper Les Echos first reported that 780 posts had already been identified for elimination, citing an official from the CFTC union.

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