PARIS: The French government on Wednesday urged Airbus to make as few compulsory layoffs as possible after the European aircraft maker announced that it is cutting 15,000 jobs in Europe to survive the coronavirus crisis.
Deputy Minister of Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said that the government estimated that 2,000 of the 5,000 reductions planned in France could be saved thanks to a reduced long-term work program and thanks to government investments in green jets next generation.
“The state urges Airbus to ensure that there are as few forced dismissals as possible,” Djebbari told BFM TV. “Airbus is facing a very difficult time ahead. The state stands next to Airbus and Air France. ”
Djebbari has confirmed that Air France plans to cut nearly 7,600 jobs as part of a restructuring announced this week, including 1,000 in its regional Hop! The figure was presented at a business meeting on Tuesday, he said.
The French government has granted state aid worth 7 billion euros ($ 7.9 billion) to Air France to ease the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic. Djebbari also urged Air France to minimize compulsory redundancies.
“It is not 7 billion euros to pay for the layoff programs. It’s $ 7 billion for survival, to pay wages at the end of the month, ”said the minister.
The French government owns 11% of Airbus and 14.3% of Air France KLM.
(US $ 1 = 0.8909 euros)
(Report by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Richard Lough; Edited by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair)