Airbus to Close One Spanish Plant After Death of Superjumbo
(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE plans to merge activities at two of its plants in southern Spain, after the end of production of the A380 superjumbo left the factories without enough work for both.
The company has held discussions with unions and the Spanish government, a spokeswoman said. The proposed plan will involve closing one site -- which one hasn’t been determined, she said -- and aims to avoid forced layoffs.
The decision comes after workers in Spain held protests over the potential closure of the Puerto Real plant, which assembled the horizontal stabilizers for the double-decker A380. Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, said in February 2019 that it would end production of the biggest commercial airliner in the skies.
A potential 460 positions will go as a result of the decision. The planemaker plans to avoid forced layoffs, in part by reviving a voluntary severance plan it used last year after announcing 15,000 job cuts. Airbus will also look at measures like furlough and seek to improve competitiveness at the surviving location.
The company has also been holding discussions with unions over plans announced last month to overhaul parts production.
A plan to hive off a German unit specialized in detail parts has met with union opposition, and Airbus said in a statement that while it continues to favor a separate entity with an external partner, it will also explore ideas from unions on how to keep the entity within Airbus.
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