European plane maker Airbus has said that a newspaper report that it plans to cut 10,000 jobs is “premature” but it didn’t completely deny it. The report, in the French newspaper La Tribune, said the figure of 10,000 came from what it called “a source close to the aerospace group.”
As soon as Louis Gallois took on the running of Airbus he warned of “painful” job cuts. He also called EADS’ structure a “bit baroque” implying it would be simplified. Gallois said: “Airbus is not yet a fully-integrated company and now we have to meld it together.” It started as a Franco-German consortium in 1970 joined later by Spain and Britain. Since then it has delivered 4,450 planes and revenue last year was 22.3 billion euros. The company currently employs 55,000 people.
A union coordinator at EADS, Jean-Jacques Devigne, said restructuring is not a new plan and existed under previous boss Noel Forgeard: “The plan was the rationalisation of factories, job cuts, cost cuts and the reduction of the structure. So, we are scared of these objectives which were originally suggested by Mr Forgeard and now by Mr Gallois and Mr Streiff. They all want to satisfy the shareholders.”
Media reports suggest that one way Airbus is considering rationalising production and cutting costs is to make the A380 at Toulouse in France and its new A350 at Hamburg in Germany, but when Gallois was asked about that he declined to comment.