Airbus chief says job cuts not off table


Blagnac / AFP

Airbus chief Tom Enders said he did not rule out job cuts at the European aircraft manufacturer after a media report said the group was considering slashing costs.
“You never exclude anything when you’re talking about efficiency and synergy but we’re in the process of thinking it all through, how we can make our corporate structures leaner and more efficient,” Enders said, when asked if cost-cutting could hit staff.
The Financial Times reported Monday that Airbus was eyeing savings that could include job cuts as the company tries to deal with slow sales for the A380 super jumbo and manufacturing problems with the A400M military transport plane.
It said the company was seeking to reduce duplication between its aircraft division, which accounts for just over two-thirds of revenues, and the parent company and other divisions.
Enders declined to confirm that any restructuring plan was imminent.
However, he said “cost is always an element in any normal company, competition is relentless, competition is always increasing.
“All we’re doing is thinking of how we can make this company faster, more efficient, more successful, in tomorrow’s business world.”
In July the company booked a just over 1-billion-euro ($1.1-billion) charge due to delays in deliveries of the A400M and said it was slowing its production of the A380 as new orders have dried up for the aircraft.
The company is meanwhile trying to boost production of its most popular aircraft, the A320, which helped bring Airbus’s order book up to 978 billion euros at the end of June.
A possible round of layoffs at Airbus, which is headquartered outside Toulouse, would likely have political reverberations in France as high unemployment is shaping up to be a key issue in the presidential election seven months away.

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