Airbus has confirmed it will cut production rates for its A380 superjumbo and A400M military aircraft — putting up to 3,700 jobs at risk in France, Germany, the UK and Spain.
Dubai’s Emirates placed an A380 order in January worth $16 billion at list prices — but demand elsewhere remains weak and Airbus said it would cut production to six A380 deliveries a year by 2020, from an expected 12 deliveries this year.
The A400M program has been affected by glitches and cost overruns — so deliveries of the new troop transporter will slow down to eight in 2020, compared with 15 this year and 11 in 2019.
In a statement, Airbus said: “Following the previously announced changes to the A380 and A400M delivery plans, Airbus confirms the formal adjustment of production rates for its A380 and A400M programmes.
“The new plan, which was presented to the European Works Council today, involves the production of six A380s per year starting from 2020 and eight A400Ms per year, also as of 2020.
“Airbus is now entering into a formal social process with staff representatives at European and national levels to analyse potential implications for the company’s workforce and to start joint mitigation efforts.
“At this stage, Airbus estimates the maximum impact of these measures will affect up to 3,700 positions at sites across the company’s home countries of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.
“Airbus is committed to managing any implications for its workforce in a responsible manner – as already successfully demonstrated on various occasions in the past.
“The company is confident that it will be able to propose opportunities to most of the affected employees through programmes which are ramping up.
“Each year, Airbus manages 12 percent mobility and can adapt the flexibility level across divisions, functions and subsidiaries to support redeployment of staff to other programmes’ activities.
“The adjustment of the A380 production rate follows a recent order which provides visibility to the programme for the years to come.
“As previously announced, at a baseline of 6 deliveries per year, Airbus can produce the A380 in an industrial efficient way over the coming years.
“This baseline allows Airbus to pursue further sales campaigns which may lead to higher production levels.
“On the A400M programme, production will be adjusted to eight units per year as of 2020, following production of fifteen A400M in 2018 and eleven units in 2019.
“This adjustment is based on discussions with the A400M Launch Customer Nations. Airbus pursues export opportunities beyond this level.
“Airbus has to ensure the best possible production flow for its products. These rate adjustment decisions provide clear visibility for customers, the supply chain and employees over the coming years.
“The company will provide further information on the progress of the discussions with the social partners, as required.”