Airbus SE (AIR.FR) said Tuesday it will cut about 15,000 jobs by next summer as it aims to "resize" its workforce and commercial-airplane operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. "The commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis," the European plane maker said in a statement. Air traffic is not expected to recover to before COVID-19 levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, so Airbus needs to take "additional measures" to reflect the industry's outlook. The largest job cuts will happen in Germany and France, with 5,100 and 5,000 positions eliminated, the company said. Airbus will rely on voluntary departures, early retirements, and long-term part-time arrangements "where appropriate" to achieve the planned workforce reduction and mitigate social impact, it said. "Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced," Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in the statement. "The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic. Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers." American depositary shares of Airbus were fractionally higher in late trading Tuesday and shares of Boeing Co. (BA) fell more than 6%. Aircraft makers have struggled amid the pandemic as travel has slowed to a trickle and airline customers delay or forgo plane orders.
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