The board of European aerospace group EADS has been holding talks about a recovery plan for its troubled Airbus division.
Reportedly there could be a major restructuring, with job cuts and the closure of some European production sites. Airbus’ new boss, Christian Streiff, wants to make cuts of as much as two billion euros, according to the unions.
Daniel Le Bris of the CGT union at EADS said: “Obviously in terms of employment,regional balance, and the future of the aviation industry, in France but also throughout Europe, we are extremely concerned.” Airbus’ finances have been knocked off course by repeated delays to its A380 superjumbo – now over a year behind schedule – and an expensive redesign of the A350.
The cost of the A 380 programme has risen to 12 billion euros. Airbus only gets the 240 million euros for each plane when they are delivered. It has 159 orders from 16 airlines including Emirates, Singapore, Virgin, Air France and Qantas. Many of them are expected to demand penalties for late delivery and several airlines are reported to be so angry about the delays that they are considering cancelling.