Europe’s Airbus has warned that if it is unable to hive off its small parts manufacturing business Premium Aerotec, then it will be forced to reduce that company’s workforce by approximately 1,000 out of its current 2,500 staff according to REUTERS news agency. Four months ago Airbus outlined plans for a company shake-up which included splitting off Premium Aerotec in Germany, with part of the business being combined with other Airbus manufacturing plants and the remainder forming a new business which would specialize in the mass production of small detail parts.
Premium Aerotec manufactures components for commercial and military aircraft, predominantly in Augsburg and Varel. Premium Aerotec has been making a loss for a number of years and Airbus sees its only route to profitability would be under new ownership whereby additional work could come in the form of working for competitors or to attract new customers from different industry sectors. Switzerland’s Montana Aerospace has already expressed interest.
Airbus claims that at current costing levels, Premium Aerotec provides parts at between 25% and 30% higher cost than alternative suppliers. IG Metall, the German trade union, is against the spinoff as it sees job cuts and less favorable working conditions would be the result of a break-up of the unit where Airbus aircraft fuselages are also assembled.
“Our analysis, which we shared with employee representatives at the end of July, clearly showed that the internal route would be much more painful for employees to achieve competitive cost structures,” an Airbus spokesperson said, adding that: “The window of opportunity to reposition is now, before production rates return to pre-crisis levels.”Email Post to a Friend