Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs due to coronavirus hit

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Rolls-Royce is to cut nearly a fifth of its workforce as it expects the disruption to the aviation industry caused by coronavirus to last for several years.

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The aircraft engine maker said it would cut at least 9,000 out of its 52,000 jobs, making it the biggest single reduction in headcount in 30 years.

The majority of the cuts will be in the UK – Rolls-Royce employs 16,000 staff in its civil aerospace unit in the UK, most of them in Derby.

The significant cuts come as Rolls-Royce said it expects demand for its aerospace engines and services to take several years to return to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month senior executives had begun work on a restructuring plan that would include thousands of job losses as the airline industry struggles through a collapse in global air travel.

The changes will primarily affect the group’s civil aerospace business, which has been hit by plunging demand from aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing.

Rolls-Royce, which will also cut capital spending, estimates that the changes will save £1.3bn per year, of which the job losses will contribute £700m.

The group expects to book costs of around £800m between this year and 2020 as the changes take effect.

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