Airbus to slash 10,000 jobs in major reorganization move


European jet maker Airbus said Thursday it would axe 10,000 of its 56,000 workforce as part of a cost cutting operation to lift it out of a financial crisis.

The company said it would the cut the jobs over four years: 4,300 in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in Britain and 400 in Spain. Trade unions vowed to fight the restructuring. The rescue plan, known as Power8, has caused serious political tensions between the French and German governments and led to a delay in its implementation.

The plan is intended to save 5.0 billion euros (US$6.6 billion) by 2010 and 2.1 billion euros per year thereafter.

In a major reorganisation of Airbus manufacturing and assembling activities, the group said that the future A350 mid-size long-haul airliner was to be built at a French factory in Toulouse, southern France.

However, 50 percent of the manufacturing of the main components of the aircraft would be done by sub-contractors.

The biggest German factory in Hamburg is to increase its operations in assembling the A320 series of aircraft, in a switch of work from Toulouse, the company said.

Trade union officials said the plan would damage the company, the world’s biggest maker of airliners in 2006 and chief rival of U.S. giant Boeing.