Rolls-Royce has said it will cut 9,000 jobs and warned it will take “several years” for the airline industry to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Derby-based firm, which makes plane engines, said the reduction of nearly a fifth of its workforce would mainly affect its civil aerospace division.
“This is not a crisis of our making. But it is the crisis that we face and must deal with,” boss Warren East said.
The bulk of the job cuts are expected to be in the UK at its site in Derby.
Rolls-Royce employs 52,000 people globally and Mr East told the BBC’s Today programme that the company had not yet concluded on “exactly” where the job losses would be, due to having to consult with unions.
But he said: “It’s fair to say that of our civil aerospace business approximately two-thirds of the total employees are in the UK at the moment and that’s probably a good first proxy.”
Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace business has a number of sites in the UK, but the largest plant is in Derby.
The company said it will also carry out a review of its sites but declined to comment on which ones may close.
John, a worker in Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace division who spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity, said that while he expected there would be job cuts, the eventual 9,000 figure was “a shock”.
“Since the Covid-19 outbreak we knew that business would shrink,” he said.
But he said the scale of the cuts as well as the potential closure of some sites was a surprise.
Unite the union said the decision was “shameful opportunism”.
Read more: Coronavirus: Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs amid ‘virus’ crisis (this is just the start of what you’ve done Johnson you idiot)