Rolls-Royce is set to cut up to 8,000 jobs as the pandemic deals a massive blow to the aviation industry, reports say.
The major aerospace manufacturer is said to be poised to make the cuts amid the collapse of air travel demand during the coronavirus crisis.
It is not yet clear how many UK jobs will be affected, as the manufacturer employs a global workforce in its civil aerospace engineering business.
Plunging demand from the likes of Airbus and Boeing has led the giant to warn it plans to make its single biggest workforce reduction in 30 years, according to the Financial Times.
© Getty Images Europe Rolls-Royce has plants around the UKThe British aero-engineering firm has begun work on a restructuring plan that would take a scythe to its workforce of some 52,000, insiders told the newspaper.
It comes after British Airways and Ryanair announced plans to make major staff cuts as the aviation industry reels from the halt to travel.
The government has offered support packages to UK businesses in hopes of saving jobs.
However Rolls-Royce has had to deal with an immediate collapse in demand in the civil aerospace arm of its business, according to the FT’s insider.
© Handout Rolls Royce build engines for Navy ships
That part of the business employs around 23,000 globally and is said to be worth half the company’s £15.4billion revenue.
The newspaper reports that an announcement on a final figure for the job cuts is not expected before the end of May, when Rolls-Royce has said it will update staff on the plans.
Last month, Rolls-Royce suspended its dividend payouts for the first time in more than three decades, it also reportedly cut back on capital spending and abandoned cash-flow targets.
© Getty An American Airlines Boeing 777 planeSources told the FT discussions have just begun with unions, and it is feared the cutbacks could be larger than job losses after 9/11, when the Rolls-Royce group cut 5,000 jobs.
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented,” the company said in a statement to the FT.
“We have taken swift action to increase our liquidity, dramatically reduce our spending in 2020, and strengthen our resilience in these exceptionally challenging times. But we will need to take further action.”