Rolls-Royce, the British maker of jet engines, said on May 20, 2020 that it will slash at least 9,000 jobs and cut costs elsewhere, admitting that the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened demand for its principal product.

“This is not a crisis of our making. But it is the crisis that we face and we must deal with it,” chief executive Warren East said in a statement announcing that Rolls would cut nearly one-fifth of its global workforce, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported. “Our airline customers and airframe partners are having to adapt and so must we.”

Rolls said it expected “the loss of at least 9,000 roles” from a global workforce of 52,000 and would also cut “expenditure across plant and property, capital and other indirect cost areas.” The measures would hand the company annual savings of more than £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion.) The restructuring will meanwhile cost Rolls about £800 million.

The company added that the restructuring would predominantly affect its civil aerospace business. “Our defence business, based in the UK and US, has been robust during the pandemic, with an unchanged outlook, and does not need to reduce headcount,” it added. #coronavirusimpact #COVID19