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Airbus is to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced.

The aerospace giant announced plans on Tuesday to reduce its global workforce and commercial aircraft activity.

Around 15,000 jobs will be cut worldwide by summer 2021, it said.

These include 1,700 in the UK, 5,000 in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain and 1,300 in other Airbus sites around the world.

The consultation process has begun with aims to reach agreements from autumn 2020.

Airbus’ CEO Guillaume Faury described the pandemic as ‘the gravest crisis the industry has ever experienced”.

Airbus said in a statement that the commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40 per cent in recent months with commercial aircraft production rates being adapting accordingly.

Meanwhile air traffic is not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, it added.

Mr Faury said: “The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic.

“Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers.

“To confront that reality, we must now adopt more far-reaching measures.

“Our management team and our Board of Directors are fully committed to limiting the social impact of this adaptation.

“We thank our governmental partners as they help us preserve our expertise and know-how as much as possible and have played an important role in limiting the social impact of this crisis in our industry.

“The Airbus teams and their skills and competences will enable us to pursue our ambition to pioneer a sustainable future for aerospace.”