Britain’s Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs amid air travel slump

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A man looks at Rolls Royce’s Trent Engine displayed at the Singapore Airshow in Singapore February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Rolls-Royce (RR.L) said it would cut at least 9,000 jobs from its global staff of 52,000 to adapt to the much smaller aviation market that will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

Rolls-Royce, which supplies engines for large aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, said the job losses would predominantly affect its civil aerospace business, plus its central support functions.

The job losses would help it to make annual cost savings of 1.3 billion pounds ($1.59 billion), with cash restructuring costs of around 800 million pounds. The company said it would also cut costs across plant, property and other areas.

Air travel has slumped since March because of travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Airlines have grounded planes and may not need as many new planes in future, hurting Rolls-Royce which earns revenues from the number of hours its engines fly.

Rolls-Royce’s headquarters are in Derby, England and about two-thirds of its civil aerospace jobs are based in the UK.

Consultations with unions would now get underway, said the company in its statement on Wednesday.

($1 = 0.8160 pounds)

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton

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