Airbus is to close its Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) in Toulouse due to a slump in sales of business aircraft, according to French news web site www.lesechos.fr.
ACJC is an Airbus subsidiary specialising in VIP aircraft cabin furnishings. It apparently announced on November 16 that it is to stop its activity, with the loss of 67 “posts”.
According to a report by “Les Echos”, a Paris-based financial newspaper, published in its original French language but translated into English, Airbus management says it is committed to “returning” all “companions” affected by the shutdown. This suggests they may be redeployed within the group.
Lesechos.fr reports that the closure is not as a result of Airbus’s “Gemini” cost-saving project, but due to a slump in demand.
In an internal mail to all employees, Airbus Executive Chairman Tom Enders is reported to have assured them that the company would do “its utmost to limit the social impact of the consolidation”.
“I can assure you that we will adopt a constructive and responsible approach. The impact [is] currently under consideration and will soon be discussed with staff representatives,” Enders wrote, according to Lesechos.fr.
According to the “Les Echos” report, between 780 and 1,000 “white collar” jobs are to be lost as part of restructuring plans across the entire company.
“Get Connected” reported last month that a number of inflight connectivity retrofits were being developed with the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC), which is co-located next to the Toulouse aircraft final assembly lines and engineering design offices.
The company said then that ACJC’s expertise in customised cabin and systems upgrades and the fact that it holds full Airbus’ “Design Organization Approval” (DOA) authority, assures that these modifications comply fully with its quality, performance, and aircraft architecture requirements.
ACJC also became the first OEM to install a full suite of the Satcom Direct Router (SDR), SD WiFi Hubs and GlobalVT products last month.
Update: speaking at the MEBAA show in Dubai, Benoit Defforge, president of Airbus Corporate Jets, confirmed that the completion centre is to close.
The business was transforming, he said, with the completion centre “re-orienting” to become an upgrade centre for existing aircraft, installing new features like inflight connectivity.
In future, ACJs will be outfitted by external completion centres.