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Airbus defense division plans to cut more than 2,300 jobs

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Airbus is pictured at the aircraft builder's headquarters of Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

(Reuters) - The defense business of Airbus AIR.PA on Wednesday laid out plans to cut more than 2,300 jobs, citing a flat space market and postponed defense contracts.

The aircraft maker said its Airbus Defense and Space division had entered consultation with the company’s European works council on the planned cutbacks.

The plan foresees the reduction of 2,362 positions until the end of 2021, of which 829 would be in Germany, 357 in Britain, 630 in Spain, 404 in France and 141 in other countries, according to a statement.

The head of the defense business said on Saturday that talks were about to start with labor representatives as the German-based group retrenches following setbacks with its A400M military transporter.

Recurring technical problems with the A400M led the German air force to refuse delivery of two of the aircraft last autumn.

The group has also taken a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) charge on the worsening sales outlook, with a German ban on defense exports to Saudi Arabia causing Airbus Defense and Space to lose a promising potential customer, Dirk Hoke said.

Airbus Defense and Space, formed in 2014 as part of a broader restructuring, employs 34,000 staff - 13,000 of them in Germany - and contributes around a fifth of revenues to parent group Airbus.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Ludwig Burger. Editing by Jane Merriman

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