Page last updated at 01:19 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

Brazil aircraft maker to cut jobs

Embraer plane, file pic
The cuts will affect about 20% of the firm's global workforce

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer is to lay off more than 4,000 employees as a result of the global economic downturn, it has said.

One of the world's largest passenger aircraft makers, the firm said demand for new planes had dropped and there was no prospect of swift recovery.

The cuts will affect about 20% of the firm's global workforce. It has offices in Brazil, Asia, the US and Europe.

Embraer's main market is the US, which has been badly affected by the crisis.

Last November, Embraer reported a 70% fall in profits following a sharp decline in Brazil's currency against the dollar.

'Unprecedented crisis'

Most of the job losses were expected to affect workers in management, administrative and production roles, rather than engineering, the company said.

It has become inevitable to revise our cost base and workforce to adapt them to the new reality in the demand for aircraft
Embraer statement

Embraer said the decision to cut jobs was forced by "the new reality of demand for commercial and executive aircraft".

Its statement said: "As a consequence of the unprecedented crisis hitting the world economy, especially the aviation sector, it has become inevitable to revise our cost base and workforce to adapt them to the new reality in the demand for aircraft."

It is not yet clear whether the cuts will affect workers outside Brazil.

Embraer, which employs 21,000 workers, vies with Canada's Bombardier for the title of the world's third-largest commercial aviation company, after Airbus and Boeing.

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