Airbus plans to cut 15,000 jobs following the challenges coronavirus has placed on the airline industry.
1700 jobs are at risk in the UK, including major sites in Broughton in North Wales and Bristol.
Thousands more will be affected – 6000 jobs in Germany, 900 affected in Spain and 5000 in France, as well as sites in other countries worldwide.
Around 134,000 people work for Airbus across the world.
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said: “Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced.
“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.
“To confront that reality, we must now adopt more far-reaching measures.”
The move is subject to talks with unions which have opposed compulsory redundancies.
The Unite union commented that the Airbus announcement was “another act of industrial vandalism” against the UK aerospace sector.
More details of the job losses will come at the end of the week following talks with unions.
Unite said it expected 1116 manufacturing jobs and 611 office-based jobs to be affected, reducing Airbus UK’s workforce by 15%.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been little short of catastrophic for the airline industry. At one point in April, global air traffic was down by more than 90% – but aircraft still need to be maintained, and leasing costs must be paid.
The firm expects to make the cuts by summer 2021.
DS, the UK trade body representing the aerospace, defence and security sectors, said new measures were “urgently required” to support a recovery in the sector.
Its chief executive Paul Everitt said: “This is undoubtedly the toughest period the global aerospace industry has ever faced.
“Being the largest commercial aircraft company in the UK, Airbus is central to our aerospace industry and has a close relationship with its highly integrated UK supply chain.
“This difficult news will be unsettling for their employees and those working as part of the supply chain.”
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