Senior Plans to Add Hundreds of Staff for Airbus A320 Ramp Up

Aerospace supplier Senior Plc said it expects to hire several hundred new staff in the second half of this year as major customer Airbus SE ramps up narrow-body jet production.

U.K.-based Senior will need to add workers as build rates for the A320 aircraft series increase, with recruitment focused on plants in the U.S. and Asia, Chief Executive Officer David Squires said in an interview Monday.

“Every time there’s a rate increase we’ll need some additional direct labor,” Squires said. “We still have some people on furlough so they’ll come back and then in other cases as the rates ramp up we’ll have to hire.”

Close to 2,000 people left Senior’s workforce after the coronavirus pandemic grounded jetliner fleets and prompted Airbus and Boeing Co. to slash output. Airbus aims to build 45 A320-series jets a month by the fourth quarter, up from about 40 in the first half, though the ramp-up represents a delay compared with previous plans and delivery rates this year have appeared sluggish.

Senior should also receive a boost from the operational return of Boeing’s 737 Max after the model was grounded following two fatal crashes. A backlog of components held by the manufacturer will be consumed this year, the CEO said, “leaving a clear run for 2022 and beyond.”

Shares of Senior rose as much as 5.6% and traded 1% higher as of 11:42 a.m. in London.

Senior said in an earnings statement that civil aerospace production volumes will still be lower overall this year, based on announced build rates from aircraft and engine makers.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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