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Airbus to lay off 10,000

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Airbus CEO Louis Gallois this afternoon announced 10,000 lay-offs of "overhead staff" across the company's European operations in the wake of the A380 debacle.

Airbus Germany will lose 3,700 staff, France 3,200, the UK 1,600, Spain 400, and the company's headquarters in Toulouse will say au revoir to 1,000.

The redundancies are planned over four years, with 50 per cent coming from permanent staff and the remaining half from temporary workers. Gallois said most would come through voluntary redundancies, although if the plan wasn't on track at the end of a 12-month review, Airbus would have to look at more involuntary options.

Gallois fingered the weakness of the US dollar and Airbus's "inefficiency" as contributory factors to the company's woes. He continued that Airbus was manufacturing too much internally, and that it accordingly lacked strong partners which might share develop costs and risk. The A380's development cost €10bn, he noted.

Delivery of the A380 is currently running around two years behind schedule, due principally to wiring problems. UPS this week threatened to cancel its order for 10 freight versions of the airliner if a renewed deadline was not met. ®

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