Aerospace & Aviation

Airbus employees fear losing their jobs at the company’s Filton base

Airbus has announced that they will be axing 15,000 jobs worldwide – nearly 15% of the company’s workforce after the demand for aeroplanes and helicopters dropped by 40% over the past few months.

Of the total, more than 1,700 will be in the UK; made up of 1,116 manufacturing positions and 611 office-based roles.

The move is part of a plan to help Airbus survive the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, as fewer aircraft will be ordered and produced due to a decrease in demand from the aviation industry.

The commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis.


The aerospace giant has a plant in Filton, north of Bristol, where more than 4,000 people work and design wings, landing gear and fuel systems for commercial aircraft. However, the site is also heavily involved with military aircraft.

Airbus family

Another 6,000 people are employed at Airbus’s plant in Broughton, North Wales, which primarily focuses on wing assembly.

The job cuts are subject to outcomes from talks with unions. So far, they have heavily opposed compulsory redundancies, with Unite (Trade & Workers Union) calling the move “another act of industrial vandalism”.

However, Airbus isn’t the only company in the industry to be affected. Other plane makers are seeking redundancies, with 50 jobs already lost at Rolls-Royce’s aero-engine plant in Filton and GKN Aerospace, where parts are assembled for Airbus.

There’s also plenty of concern when it comes to smaller businesses that are Airbus suppliers, as the current economic situation will have an impact on the demand for their services.

Airbus has announced plans to adapt its global workforce and resize its commercial aircraft activity in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

This adaptation is expected to result in a reduction of around 15,000 positions no later than summer 2021.

The information and consultation process with social partners has begun with a view to reaching agreements for implementation starting in autumn 2020.

Airbus is grateful for the Government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures.

However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook.


Airbus’s Chief Executive has also made a statement:

Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced.

The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic. Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers.

To confront that reality, we must now adopt more far-reaching measures. Our management team and our board of directors are fully committed to limiting the social impact of this adaptation.

We thank our governmental partners as they help us preserve our expertise and know-how as much as possible and have played an important role in limiting the social impact of this crisis in our industry. The Airbus teams and their skills and competences will enable us to pursue our ambition to pioneer a sustainable future for aerospace.

Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive, Airbus

The company will also be reducing their workforce by 5,000 positions in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain and 1,300 in other areas worldwide.

A government spokesperson has said:

We understand this will be a difficult time for Airbus’s employees and their families, and we stand ready to support anyone affected in any way we can.

We will continue to work closely with the sector to ensure firms are able to rebuild as the civil aviation market recovers.

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