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Airbus: we can't guarantee no compulsory layoffs

European plane maker Airbus says it's doing its best to cut costs without compulsory redundancies... But it won't rule them out.

Company CEO Guillaume Faury made the comments to a French radio station on Tuesday (Sep 22).

With air travel still at a fraction of its normal level, airlines have slowed deliveries of new aircraft.

Faury described the crisis as "existential", adding that the "business is potentially at risk" if it doesn't take the right measures.

Airbus has said it needs to shed 15,000 posts worldwide.

And Faury said the situation remains uncertain after air travel failed to recover as quickly as anticipated.

There's fresh evidence of that at Lufthansa...

On Monday (Sep 21) it announced additional layoffs, along with a 1.1 billion euro, or nearly 1.3 billion dollar, impairment on idled aircraft.

Rising virus cases are spreading gloom across the airline sector.

The German group has been hit hard by its reliance on Asian and other long-haul routes, as well as stalled business travel.

It now expects to operate at only 20-30% of capacity in the fourth quarter, and will reduce its fleet by 150 aircraft.

That's 50 more than previously planned.

It will also cut more jobs than the 22,000 full-time equivalent positions already identified as surplus.