AFP

Airbus chief says can save 3,500 jobs if Berlin, Paris offer handouts 2 July 2020 - 18:56

European aircraft builder Airbus said Thursday that it could save up to 3,500 jobs in Germany and France if government help is forthcoming, out of 15,000 layoffs planned worldwide over the coronavirus' impact."We could preserve up to 500 jobs if the German government supported us via its programme to develop hydrogen drive for planes. Prolonging shorter hours schemes to 24 months could save 1,500 more," chief executive Guillaume Faury told news weekly Der Spiegel, adding that "talks are already underway on this."Likewise, 1,500 posts could also be saved in France, he said.Germany and France have complained in recent days at around 5,000 layoffs each set to hit their countries, with Berlin urging fair distribution of the pain while Paris blasted the cuts as "excessive".Faury told Spiegel that with around two-thirds of the world's jet fleet grounded by the pandemic in recent months, "the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the air travel sector was and remains catastrophic".Airbus plans to slash production by 40 percent this year and next compared with previous plans."We can stabilise the company, but it's necessary to adjust the number of workers," Faury said.As well as government aid, Airbus is discussing options like a four-day week "to spread the work among more employees", the CEO added, although "that won't solve all our problems".With a 15-billion-euro ($16.9-billion) war chest to weather the crisis, "we see no need for a bigger state stake" in Airbus, Faury said -- unlike German airline Lufthansa, rescued with a nine-billion-euro package from Berlin.tgb/hmn/rlAIRBUS GROUP

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