France asks Airbus to minimize compulsory job cuts


The Airbus logo is pictured at the entrance to Airbus facilities in Bouguenais, near Nantes, France, on June 30, 2020. REUTERS / Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government has urged Airbus (AIR.PA) on Wednesday to make as few compulsory layoffs as possible after the European aircraft manufacturer announced that it was 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 going through a very difficult time to come. The state stands alongside Airbus and Air France. ”

Djebbari confirmed Air France (AIRF.PA) planned to cut nearly 7,600 jobs as part of a restructuring announced this week, including 1,000 in its regional unit Hop! The figure was presented at a business meeting on Tuesday, he said.

The French government has granted € 7 billion ($ 7.9 billion) in state aid to Air France to help 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.

($ 1 = 0.8909 euros)

Report by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Richard Lough; Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair

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