The cuts are to be implemented by the summer of 2021, Airbus said in a statement, and follow a drop of almost 40% of the commercial aviation business in recent months. Air traffic is not expected to recover to pre-crisis levels before 2023.
Airbus said compulsory redundancies can not be ruled out at this stage, adding it will work with its social partners to limit the impact of its plans by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement, and long term partial unemployment schemes where appropriate.
Now, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Guillaume Faury has provided an indication as to when the European manufacturer expects some sense of normality and a return to 2019-levels of business. "Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader". "We must act now to safeguard Airbus and protect its future".
Britain's Unite union called the measures "industrial vandalism".
ADS, the United Kingdom trade body representing the aerospace, defence and security sectors, said new measures were "urgently required" to support a recovery in the sector.
Job cuts have appeared likely at Airbus since early on in the crisis.
"Being the largest commercial aircraft company in the UK, Airbus is central to our aerospace industry and has a close relationship with its highly-integrated UK supply chain".
"The UK Government is watching from the sidelines while a national asset is destroyed".
The cuts come as new aircraft sales are down and customers are deferring orders
France and Germany own 11% each of Airbus and Spain 4%, but since 2013 governance rules shield Airbus from direct state interference.
The party is calling for an extension to the furlough scheme - under which the taxpayer subsidises 80% of wages for temporarily laid-off workers - for the most badly-affected sectors, as well as a "sectoral deal" to protect the aviation industry as a whole.
Mr Skates said his thoughts were with workers and their families. Staff reductions will stretch beyond the commercial aviation division hit hard by the coronavirus, with the helicopter and defence units also set to lose headcount, said the source, who asked not to be named discussing confidential matters.
Faury said the company is working with the unions in each country to reach agreement on the job cuts by this fall.
Some 134,000 people work for Airbus worldwide, with around a tenth of them in the UK.
He said he would provide more detail of the Welsh Government's response on Wednesday.
"Nobody should be under any illusion about the impact Covid is having on aerospace, a critical part of the Welsh economy".
He said Airbus supported another three local jobs for every one at the firm.