Coronavirus: Airbus extends furlough scheme in UK, Spain

Farnborough, UK - July 14, 2016: Airbus A350 XWB landing at Farnborough as part of a display of aircraft for an international aviation trade event. The XWB initials denote the aircrafts Xtra Wide Body design.
Photo: Getty

Airbus (AIR.PA) will extend its furlough program for 5,300 of its employees in Spain and the UK as it continues to deal with the economic fallout of coronavirus outbreak, which has hit the travel industry particularly hard.

In the UK, Airbus said it had “agreed with the Trade Union to apply the government’s Job Retention Scheme again to around 2,200 production and production support employees at its commercial aircraft site in Broughton,” a spokesman told Yahoo Finance in an emailed statement.

This period of furlough will start on 20 July and end on 9 August, he said. The last staff from an earlier wave are expected back on 1 July.

READ MORE: Aer Lingus to axe 500 jobs

In Spain, the plane maker has come to an agreement “with May with regards to partial unemployment in Spain” that will be effective from 20 May till 30 September and affects around 3100 employees, he said.

All commercial aerospace staff in France are now on furlough, he added, with around 29,500 employees working on average about 30% shorter weeks.

France announced earlier this month it is pumping £13.3bn ($16.4bn) into the aerospace industry, including Airbus and national airline Air France.

The company furloughed employees in Germany, where it employs more than 46,000 people, according to a Bloomberg report.

Airbus had warned last week that its UK employees face “more permanent” job cuts than those in France or Germany, which are planning to maintain wage subsidy schemes for up to two years, the FT reported.

Restructuring plans that could include job cuts are expected at the end of the month.

The pandemic has battered the travel industry. Earlier, Irish airline Aer Lingus confirmed it will shed up to 500 jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The cuts will see the loss of around 11% of the 4,500 workforce with the axing of up to 120 support area jobs, 100 ground crew, 50 maintenance staff and 230 pilots and cabin crew.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Travel quarantine rules to relax for some countries