Airbus furloughs 3,200 workers at Broughton site after boss warns company is 'bleeding cash'

Airbus has confirmed it will furlough approximately 3,200 workers at its Broughton site.

The aerospace giant employs around 6,000 staff in the Flintshire town, with around 13,500 in the UK.

The majority of its production and production support teams in Broughton are affected by the announcement.

It comes after Airbus' chief executive reportedly told staff the firm is “bleeding cash” due to dropped demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, Guillaume Faury said: "We’re bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed, which may threaten the very existence of our company.”

Many airlines have grounded their fleets after the UK Government advised against all non-essential international travel for 30 days.

The Broughton site assembles wings for all Airbus commercial aircraft models. Credit: PA Images

The Government furlough initiative, the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, gives workers 80 per cent of their usual earnings, capped at £2,500 per month per person.

This mean they can be furloughed rather than laid off from their place of work.

Earlier this month Airbus announced plans to cut aircraft production rates by around a third.

Airbus is the largest commercial aerospace company in the UK, with sites in Broughton, Newport, Bristol, Portsmouth and Stevenage.

The company is due to issue its financial results for the first quarter of the year on Wednesday.

The aerospace industry employs 110,000 people in 'high value, highly skilled jobs' in the UK, according to Unite the union. Credit: PA Images

It is no surprise that Airbus and the wider aerospace industry are facing serious challenges as airlines are grounded around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rhys McCarthy, Unite national officer for aerospace

Rhys McCarthy, Unite national officer for aerospace, said: "The UK is a world leader in aerospace, building state of the art aircraft, wings and engines with a turnover of £36 billion a year and directly employing 110,000 people in high value, highly skilled jobs.

"The announcement by Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury must serve as a wake-up call to the UK government as well as governments throughout Europe and globally that airlines are going to need state support for their survival and recovery."

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the UK Government must address the 'global' problems facing airlines. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The First Minister described the pandemic as an "economic crisis" during the daily Welsh Government press conference on Monday.

When asked about discussions with Airbus and Tata, which has also experienced a slump in orders, Mark Drakeford said the UK Government must address the "global" problems facing airlines and the steel industry.

On Monday the prime minister claimed the UK is "beginning to turn the tide" on the virus. But he said a relaxation of lockdown would "risk a second major outbreak".

On his return to work following treatment for Covid-19, Boris Johnson said now is the "moment of maximum risk".