Could save 2,000 jobs: Airbus flirts with government aid

The job cuts as a result of the corona crisis have been decided at Airbus. However, this could be significantly lower if the federal government accommodates the aircraft manufacturer in terms of short-time work and project funding. Airbus chief Faury speaks of thousands of jobs.

According to CEO Guillaume Faury, Airbus assumes that with the support of the Federal Government in 2000 fewer jobs could be cut in Germany than previously planned. "We think that up to 500 jobs could be obtained if, for example, the federal government supported us through the program for the development of aircraft with hydrogen engines," said the manager in an interview with "Spiegel". "Extending short-time work to 24 months could also secure up to 1,500 jobs." Discussions have already started, Faury said.

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He refused to expand the state's stake in Airbus. Airbus recently announced that it would lose 15,000 jobs as a result of the slump in aircraft demand in the corona crisis.

In Germany, 5100 jobs are supposed to be cut, as Faury confirmed in "Spiegel". With longer short-time work and promotion of hydrogen technology, this number could be reduced to 3100. In France "instead of the necessary 5000, the comparative figures would then be up to 3500 jobs that were up for grabs," said Faury.

Employee representatives had accused Airbus of using the crisis as a pretext for a long-planned corporate restructuring. The German head of the group works council, Holger Junge, had talked about the fact that the crisis could be survived with long-term short-time work and a reduction in working hours for all employees.

The Airbus boss told "Spiegel" that many options were being discussed with employee representatives, including the four-day week. "We are already considering reducing weekly working hours to spread the work across more employees," said Faury. "But it doesn't solve all problems."

When asked whether the three Airbus owner states Germany, France and Spain could increase their shares, Faury reacted negatively. "When the crisis started, we secured 15 billion euros on the capital market to strengthen our liquidity," said the group leader. "At the moment, we therefore see no reason for further government participation in corporate capital."