MTU To Reduce Workforce By Up To 15%

The German engine specialist will look to increase its use of flexible measures and voluntary agreements rather than compulsory redundancies.
Credit: MTU

Engine specialist MTU Aero Engines, parent group of MTU Maintenance, has announced plans to reduce its workforce in Germany and overseas from 10-15% by the end of next year.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing impact on the global aviation industry, MTU says it will look to increase the use of partial retirement, early retirement and other arrangements for staff, which numbers more than 10,000 people worldwide.

Other workforce initiatives, including recruitment freezes or waivers to fill vacant positions, as well as a reduction in working hours implemented in May, will also be used to reach the targeted cuts.

Aviation Week has contacted MTU for comment about the impact on its MTU Maintenance business.

Company CEO Reiner Winkler expects the aviation industry will remain under pressure for some time to come. “It will be years before air traffic—which is the foundation on which our activities in series production and our maintenance business rest—returns to pre-crisis levels,” he said in a statement released Monday (July 6). 

However, Winkler ruled out making compulsory redundancies to its workforce. “We have no interest in compulsory redundancies or social plans and will coordinate our approach very carefully with the works council,” he confirmed. “We want to keep as many of our highly qualified colleagues on board as possible during and after the crisis.”

This week’s announcement is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at tackling challenges emanating from the novel coronavirus. In early April, the company underwent a three-week shutdown at facilities in Germany and Poland, including engine production sites in Munich and Rzeszów and MRO operations in Hannover and Ludwigsfelde near Berlin.

Earlier this year, the company also warned of COVID-19 impacting its revenues in the second and third quarters of this year. This followed a first quarter which saw its MTU Maintenance division revenues rise by 21% to €794.9 million ($870.9 million).

“Commercial maintenance will likely be affected by a drop in demand at least in the second and third quarters, especially in the passenger sector, while demand from freight companies could safeguard capacity utilization,” Winkler said at the time of the announcement. 

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.