Spain agrees investment plan with Airbus in exchange for fewer job losses

FILE PHOTO: Airbus employees gather ahead of a protest against expected job cuts of about 900 workers outside Airbus' factory in Getafe, Spain, July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's government and Airbus AIR.PA said on Thursday they had agreed measures aimed at propping up the aerospace sector and minimising job losses after a meeting between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury.

“Both parties consider it essential to promote a series of initiatives to strengthen the whole sector in Spain and its auxiliary industries,” Airbus and the government said in a joint statement.

Battered by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbus, which is 4% owned by the Spanish government, has said it will lay off about 900 workers in Spain as part 15,000 cuts worldwide, prompting large protests outside its factories.

Included in the measures are a 185 million euro ($219 million) investment plan to be financed by the European Union recovery fund and a commitment from Spain to order several military aircraft.

Spain will also help support Airbus in negotiations to help persuade the United States to lift sanctions on the company.

In exchange, Airbus said it would aim to minimise job cuts in Spain and find solutions for plants with lower workload.

Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Franklin Paul and Mark Potter