PARIS Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders has warned staff of a possible cut in commercial helicopter production, following a recent cut in output for the slow-selling A380 passenger jet.
Airbus Helicopters is the world's largest commercial helicopter maker.
"It’s a fact that we must adapt to the continuing shrinking of the helicopter market on the one hand and the lack of demand for the A380 on the other," he said in a letter to staff, while appearing to dismiss reports that this was linked to a broader plan to reorganize management and embrace digital technology.
"For the A380 we decided (and announced already in July) that we would lower production rates to 12 per year from 2018 onwards, leaving us the option to ramp-up again when the market requires," he said in the letter seen by Reuters.
"The additional necessary adaptations to helicopter capacities to cope with our market reality are presently under review." Airbus Helicopters is the world's largest commercial helicopter maker.
The impact on the workforce and cost base will be "not negligible" but will be far away from the company's "Power8" wide-ranging restructuring plan almost 10 years ago. Airbus Group hopes to avoid massive workforce reductions, he added.
He confirmed Airbus Group was looking at "further consolidation and cost-reduction" among top management.
He was writing to employees days after reports that the head of Airbus planemaking, Fabrice Bregier, would also become chief operating officer at group level.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Greg Mahlich)