European planemaker Airbus will do its best to cut costs without resorting to compulsory redundancies, but it cannot guarantee they won’t happen, CEO Guillaume Faury told French radio station RTL on Tuesday.
With air travel at a fraction of its normal level due to restrictions and travellers’ fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have slowed deliveries of new aircraft.
Airbus has said it needs to shed 15,000 posts worldwide.
“The crisis is existential. Our life as a business is potentially at risk if we don’t take the right measures. We are taking them,” Faury said.
“The situation is so serious, and we are faced with so much uncertainty, that I think no one can guarantee there won’t be compulsory redundancies if we’re to adapt to the situation, especially if it evolves further.”
“On the other hand, what I say clearly is that we have a lot of work to do, we will do everything we can to avoid arriving at that point,” he told the radio station.
“There are lots of measures we can take between voluntary redundancies and compulsory redundancies.”
In a letter sent to staff this month, Faury warned them the planemaker may have to carry out compulsory layoffs after air travel failed to recover from the pandemic as quickly as anticipated.