Helicopter firm to cut 375 jobs

The Anglo-Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland said on Oct. 7 that it would cut 375 jobs in the U.K. due to falling revenues from Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) and slowing export orders.

AgustaWestland, the chopper maker, says the majority of fresh job cuts will be from corporate departments. AA photo

AgustaWestland, the chopper maker, says the majority of fresh job cuts will be from corporate departments. AA photo

The company, owned by Italian defense group Finmeccanica , said the jobs would go at its Yeovil headquarters in south west England and at its base in Farnborough in the south.

“Revenues from the Ministry of Defense are declining and shifting towards longer term support solutions, while export orders that have slipped in the near term are projected to grow over time,” the company said in a statement.

“The specific demands of the commercial helicopter sector and the ever more competitive export markets require the company to operate on an even more cost-effective basis going forward.” AgustaWestland, which recently launched its new AW169 civil helicopter, said the majority of jobs would be cut from its management and corporate departments.

The cuts at AgustaWestland come just two weeks after Europe’s biggest defense contractor BAE Systems said it would slash nearly 3,000 jobs in Britain as smaller global defense budgets hit orders for its fighter jets.

Friday, October 7, 2011
LONDON – Reuters