British Airways Pilot Strike

Airbus prepared to end UK operations

Airbus prepared to end UK operations

With the political heat rising in temperature, Airbus has issued a firm statement outlining the catastrophic consequences in the event Britain doesn’t smoothly leave the European Union.

Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, is the one in charge of working with the appropriate parties to ensure smooth actions politically and industrially are achieved, however with no clear vision as to what the deal might look like, he’s called to the British Parliament with a direct statement.

Here is the video:

With thousands of Airbus jobs situated in Britain, all managing the production of every Airbus wing and other small components, the lack of clarity has been labeled as a “disgrace” by Enders. Additionally, Filton is where the wing design and support takes place, and with the next generation of wings already in the pipeline, the removal of Airbus in the UK would mean a significant loss of jobs and potentially a setback in the design and manufacturing process.

The departure would not only disrupt commercial aircraft manufacturing, but also defense, space and helicopter divisions. Airbus has a strong relationship with the Royal Air Force, providing aircraft such as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport and A400M multi-role airlifter as well as large information and digital infrastructure solutions.

A large portion of the workers in the UK put a lot of effort into maintaining Europe’s successful space program, with telecommunication and defense satellite design and construction. Notable efforts include the Solar Orbiter program to study the sun, the LISA Pathfinder to test gravitational wave detection concepts and the Sentinel 5P, Aeolus and BioMass Earth observation satellites.

Education wise, the strong partnerships present with universities and engineering firms would eventually dissolve and move elsewhere.

Airbus prepared to end UK operations
Infographic of Airbus’ UK presence

Should Airbus decide to depart the UK, where will they choose to continue design and production?

Germany is currently a tempting option, with facilities already well established for assembly of aircraft and production of parts. Additionally, the United States, Japan, China and South Korea are also on the list of locations since Airbus has facilities and strong relationships in these areas.

Tom Enders will be standing down on the 29th of March this year to be succeeded by Guillaume Faury, however the fact remains, if the politics don’t work out, Airbus will have to make some “potentially very harmful decisions for the UK”.


NOTE: This article is in no way meant to take sides regarding the ongoing Brexit situation, but rather produce Airbus’ side of the argument which is a relevant and extremely important topic in the aviation industry.