The new head of European plane maker Airbus says decisions will be made over the next few months which are likely to lead to job losses among the 55,000 strong workforce. Before travelling to meet staff at the consortium’s headquarters in Toulouse, Louis Gallois told a radio interviewer that restructuring was on the cards and would be painful. However, a company source close to Gallois described as “premature” a report that up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk.
Airbus has assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg, along with 14 other sites. It started as a Franco-German consortium in 1970 which was joined later by Spain and Britain. Since then it has delivered nearly 4,500 planes. The launch of the A380 super jumbo, delayed for two years due to wiring problems, has been cited as being at the centre of the company’s problems.