Airbus To Cut 15,000 Jobs Over COVID-19 Pandemic

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Airbus To Cut 15,000 Jobs Over COVID-19 Pandemic
The company said the cuts will occur no later than the summer of 2021.
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European airplane manufacturer Airbus plans to cut around 15,000 jobs as it continues to struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The majority of those job cuts will take place in France and Germany. But jobs will also be eliminated in Spain, the U.K. and other Airbus sites around the globe. Airbus wants to aim for early retirements and voluntary departures, but would not rule out involuntary layoffs if necessary. The company said the cuts will occur no later than the summer of 2021. 

As countries have locked down their borders over the coronavirus, airlines have stopped flying a majority of their routes. As a result, Airbus said its commercial aircraft business has taken a 40% hit. 

In a statement, the CEO of Airbus called the pandemic "the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced." The company expects air travel will not get back to pre-COVID-19 levels before 2023 or even 2025. 

Airbus employs roughly 135,000 people, meaning the job cuts will affect about 11% of its workforce. Its rival Boeing announced back in May that it's similarly slashing more than 12,000 of its jobs over the pandemic. 

Contains footage from CNN