Airbus facility france
© Reuters
Aerospace giant Airbus is to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK as the coronavirus pandemic causes 'the gravest crisis' the aviation industry has ever faced (Airbus facility near Nantes, France)
Meanwhile EasyJet yesterday said 4,500 jobs were at risk, and Bensons for Beds, Harveys and TM Lewin all announced layoffs and store closures.

Aerospace giant Airbus is to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK as the coronavirus pandemic causes 'the gravest crisis' the aviation industry has ever faced (Airbus facility near Nantes, France)

The news is a huge blow to its site at Broughton in Wales, where wings are manufactured, and its other factory at Filton in Bristol (pictured, British Airways Airbus A380 airplanes)

SSP Chief executive Simon Smith said: 'In the UK the pace of the recovery continues to be slow.
'In response to this, we are now taking further action to protect the business and create the right base from which to rebuild our operations. Regrettably, we are starting a collective consultation which will affect our UK colleagues. These are extremely difficult decisions, and our main priority will be to conduct the process carefully and fairly.'
How coronavirus has affected UK airlines and travel operators:
Flybe: Europe's largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was 'no guarantee that many European airlines would survive'. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Jet2: The airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline's planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain.

TUI: Holiday giant Tui is looking to cut up to 8,000 roles worldwide with the firm calling Covid-19 the 'greatest crisis' the industry has faced.

The UK's biggest tour operator posted losses of 845.8 million euro (£747m) in the first half of 2020, compared to 289.1 million (£255m) in the same period 12 months previously.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning, regional secretary of the Unite union Steve Preddy warned the government must 'intervene to provide loan support.'

He added: 'There's no question that the global airline market was readjusting itself, we saw that before the pandemic. However that does not account for the serious and deep affect the pandemic has had on the aircraft industry worldwide and particularly here in the UK, we are after all the second largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.

'This is about bums in seats, the evidence is with the return of confidence in air travel and if people are reassured the industry could return to some sense of normality before that time, but it will need bridging support and that's what we're asking the government to provide.

'In France recently the government have announced some 16bn euros in support for the aviation sector and similar numbers in Germany and Spain and in the US phenomenal support for the aviation sector.

'Nobody's asking for charitable handouts, we don't expect the British taxpayers to support private industry but what we're saying is that the government can intervene to provide loan support, reconfigurations of the apprenticeship levy to support this very important sector of our economy to ride this current storm.'

Job cuts at Airbus represent 15 per cent of its 90,000-strong commercial aerospace workforce - 50 per cent greater than cuts it made in 2007.

The news is a huge blow to its site at Broughton in north Wales, where wings are manufactured, and its other factory at Filton in Bristol.

Airbus added that while it will try to limit job losses to voluntary redundancies and retirements, compulsory redundancies 'cannot be ruled out'.

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

It added that 'this adaptation is expected to result in a reduction of around 15,000 positions no later than summer 2021'.

Airbus slashed aircraft production by a third to about 60 a month in April. It has seen commercial aircraft business activity drop by nearly 40 per cent in recent months.

The aerospace giant had furloughed 3,200 UK staff after its chief executive said the company was 'bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed'.

Workers at the Broughton factory in north Wales were furloughed and the company had applied for the UK Government's coronavirus job retention scheme.

'Airbus confirms it has agreed with its social partners to apply the government's Job Retention Scheme for approximately 3,200 production and production-support employees at its commercial aircraft site in Broughton,' it had said.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury
© Reuters
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury
In a statement released today, chief executive Guillaume Faury revealed: '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.'

Mr Faury added that the cuts could have been 'significantly worse' had it not been for government support.

Airbus is the UK's biggest aerospace company. Its Oxford base is a major helicopter supplier for the Ministry of Defence and air ambulance services.

The company is also planning to cut 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain and 1,300 positions at its other worldwide sites.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS, said 'Airbus is central to our aerospace industry and has a close relationship with its highly-integrated UK supply chain'.

He called on the Government 'to support a strong recovery', adding: 'This is undoubtedly the toughest period the global aerospace industry has ever faced'.

Meanwhile, Unite called the announcement 'another act of industrial vandalism and a terrible insult to our incredible UK workforce'.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Tuner said: 'Over the weeks of this crisis, this country's aerospace jobs have gone hand over fist yet not one word of support or act of assistance has been forthcoming from the Government.

'The UK Government is watching from the sidelines while a national asset is destroyed. The only words uttered by the Government in relation to UK aerospace during this entire crisis came out of the blue today in relation to the prime minister's UK-made 'Jet Zero' project. But while our world-class industry is shedding skills and workers at the present rate, this project will be nothing more than a PR fantasy.


In a statement released today, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faurysaid the company's future was at stake after the coronavirus pandemic rocked the air travel industry.
'UK aerospace workers deserve the same support and investment that Mr (Emmanuel) Macron and Ms (Angela) Merkel provide to their workers.

'Airbus workers in France and Germany have up to two years to work to fend off their redundancies and turn their businesses around while in the UK the axe falls with immediate effect. With every day that goes by without any action to support this sector from the UK Government, our competitors cheer.'

Peter Hughes, Unite's Wales regional secretary, said: 'The significance of large-scale job losses at Airbus would have a devastating impact on the aerospace sector in Wales and on the wider Welsh economy.

'Unite has been calling for the UK Government to put a plan of support in place for the aerospace sector for months.

'This support has been provided by France and Germany.

'Will the UK Government now step up to the plate and do everything required to support UK aviation jobs? We are calling upon Airbus to hold their nerve and step back from implementing their plan.'
Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: 'News of job losses today in the aviation sector is devastating for those affected. Thousands of jobs have been under threat of redundancy, with staff, the sector and politicians of all sides urging the Government to act, yet Tory ministers have been found wanting.'

EasyJet revealed up to 4,500 staff will lose their jobs, including 1,900 UK employees.

He added: 'Labour has consistently called for an extension to the furlough in the most impacted industries, and a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry, including securing jobs and protecting the supply chain, while continuing to press for higher environmental standards.'

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: 'This is extremely worrying news for workers, their families and the wider community.'

Wales's minister for economy, transport and North Wales Ken Skates said: 'The sector is in crisis and the UK Government needs to take swift and decisive action now to save the industry and its supply chain.

'The alarm bells have been sounding for weeks and we need urgent steps at a UK level to prevent this crisis becoming even worse.'

Earlier today, budget airline EasyJet revealed up to 4,500 staff will lose their jobs, including 1,900 UK employees, and announced plans to close its bases at London's Stansted and Southend airports, and at Newcastle.

Some 727 of its UK-based pilots are at risk of redundancy, equivalent to about one-third of its pilots in the country.

The airline had announced last month that it was reducing its workforce by nearly a third, warning it needed to cut 4,500 jobs to stay competitive.

At the start of this month easyJet raised £419million of cash to help it see through the pandemic. It has also taken a £600million government loan.

The Luton-based carrier becomes the latest domino to fall in the aviation industry, which has suffered massive losses in the wake of the pandemic.

EasyJet said the proposals are to close the bases in August to customers booked to fly from the airport over the summer 'will not be affected as a result of this.'

Today, it began consultation on proposals with employee representatives on all of its UK-based pilots and crew.

The proposals include the potential closing of three of its bases in the UK - London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: 'These are very difficult proposals to put forward in what is an unprecedented and difficult time for the airline and the industry as a whole. We are focused on doing what is right for the company and its long term health and success so we can protect jobs going forward.

'Unfortunately the lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people - we are committed to working constructively with our employee representatives across the network with the aim of minimising job losses as far as possible.

'These proposals are no reflection on our people at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, who have all worked tirelessly and have been fully committed to providing great service for our customers.'

The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) accused EasyJet of 'excessive overreaction' and urged the Government to stop the industry's 'death spiral'.

The union tweeted:
'We are shocked at the size of potential pilot job losses in easyJet which equate to nearly 1-in-3 of easyJet pilots in the UK: 727 pilots.

'easyJet paid £174million out to shareholders, got agreements to furlough staff to protect cash, got £600million from the Government, has boasted of having £2.4billion in liquidity, and ticket sales are going through the roof so fast they cannot get pilots back off furlough quickly enough.

'So this seems an excessive over-reaction. It doesn't add up. We are meeting easyJet today and we will be fighting to save every single job.

'This is more evidence that aviation in the UK is caught in a death spiral of despair and individual airlines are flailing around without direction. Govt should step in, provide a strategy and back a moratorium on job losses'.
TM Lewin collapsed into administration today with 600 jobs axed.

The 122-year-old shirtmaker's 66 shops, which also sell shoes, suits and ties, will disappear from the high street but its online platform will remain.

The firm blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the move to digital-only as it could not afford to pay rents after stores shut in March.