Aircraft maker Airbus and tour operator Tui reveal plans to axe staff

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Grounded: In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days


Travel lockdown triggers another 18,000 job cuts: Aircraft maker Airbus and tour operator Tui reveal plans to axe staff

Airbus and Tui are set to slash thousands of jobs as planes around the world are grounded.

In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days.

And tour operator Tui warned that up to 8,000 jobs will go at its business following the dramatic collapse in air travel and holiday bookings.

Grounded: In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days

The prospect adds to the misery sweeping travel, aviation and aerospace. Plane maker Boeing is cutting 16,000 jobs while 12,000 staff face the axe at British Airways, 3,000 at Virgin Atlantic and 3,000 at Ryanair.

Warning that the company is ‘bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed’, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury recently said ‘we are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the industry has ever known’.

The company has 135,000 staff worldwide including 13,500 in the UK including in Broughton, North Wales, where it makes wings, and at Filton in Bristol where the wings are designed. A final decision on the job cuts has yet to be made.

But Faury believes it could take three to five years for passengers to be as willing to fly as before the crisis – hammering demand for planes.

Tui’s shares are down more than 70 per cent this year, with the FTSE 100 giant saying it would cut costs by a third. 

It reported losses of £655million in the three months to March 31, saying in an update: ‘The pandemic is unquestionably the greatest crisis the industry and Tui has ever faced.’

But Manuel Cortes, general secretary of transport union TSSA, said: ‘We are extremely disappointed Tui is planning to cut 8,000 jobs and would urge them to think again. 

In Britain, the Government’s job protection scheme means no jobs should be lost. There is also a similar scheme in Ireland. Therefore, there is simply no excuse for job cuts in Britain and Ireland.’

International travel restrictions have hit bookings, forcing Tui, which also runs cruises and airlines, to furlough or cut the pay of 90 per cent of its staff.

It has already taken a €1.8billion (£1.6billion) German state loan and ditched the dividend after cancelling most holidays in June. 

In the UK, output in travel and tourism halved in March, air travel fell 44 per cent, and accommodation by 45.7 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen railed against the Government’s two-week quarantine, saying it was ‘prohibitive and unreasonable’. 

He said: ‘People want to travel and Europe must now gradually open up. Summer holidays are possible responsibly and with clear rules.

‘We should be selective and allow holidays to go ahead where possible.’ He said possible destinations for tourists included the Balearics, the Canaries, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Bulgaria.

Airbus said: ‘Airbus has implemented a number of financial, operational and social measures to adapt to the severe health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

‘The company will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the future of Airbus in cooperation with its social partners. Airbus doesn’t comment on speculation relating to internal meetings.’

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