This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR will cut production by 50 percent and reduce its workforce by 204 positions—including 186 in France—in response to Covid 19-related business pressures, the company said Thursday. ATR delivered 67 airplanes last year and now expects to ship between 30 and 35 this year. The company said a consultation process with unions has begun with a view to reaching agreements this autumn.
“The aviation industry, along with many other industries, is facing the most significant economic crisis we have ever experienced," said ATR chief executive Stefano Bortoli. "Despite actions taken to absorb the initial shock of Covid-19, it is with a heavy heart that ATR must now adopt such measures to adjust to the overwhelming challenges we face to ensure we are ready to adapt our competences to the new future of regional aviation, keeping all engagements with our customers; supporting the fleet worldwide, and pursuing the development of products that can open new markets, such as the ATR 42-600S short takeoff and landing, and the ATR 72-600F freighter.’
The ATR chief added that short-distance regional aviation will recover, but that travel restrictions, a “natural” fear of people to resume flying, and uncertainty over the prospects for a vaccine will mean a slow return to normal operations.
“In the meantime, we will make every effort to support ATR team members and ensure that where possible the reduction in our workforce will be on a voluntary basis,” he said.