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Europe’s aerospace and defense giant EADS to cut 5,800 jobs

Europe’s aerospace and defense giant EADS to cut 5,800 jobs
​European aerospace and defense corporation EADS will cut 5,800 jobs amid a decline in governments’ military spending.

EADS, owner of Airbus and Eurocopter, is planning a “substantial consolidation” of its sites in Germany, France, Spain and the UK.

The cutbacks will unfold by the end of 2016, the company said in a statement. The shuttered jobs will come from its corporate and space and defense divisions.

EADS said up to 1,500 of those laid-off positions will come from Airbus or Eurocopter. Ending temporary contracts will account for eliminating another 1,300 positions. After offering voluntary plans to employees, EADS will then likely make 1,000 to 1,450 outright layoffs.

In the UK, sites in Stevenage, Portsmouth and Newport will see a total of 450 jobs lost, BBC News reported.

"We need to improve our competitiveness in defense and space - and we need to do it now,” said Tom Enders, chief executive of EADS, in a statement. "With our traditional markets down, we urgently need to improve access to international customers, to growth markets."

An attempt to negotiate a merger with UK defense company BAE Systems in late 2012 fell apart amid political opposition from the French, German and British governments. Upon the failed deal, EADS said it would have to restructure as global military spending waned.

EADS also announced its Paris headquarters will be closed.

In July, it was reported that EADS will be known as Airbus Group from 2014. The commercial aircraft-manufacturing subsidiary, based in Toulouse, contributes the bulk of the company’s revenues.