SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES, REUTERS) - British jet engine-maker Rolls-Royce will cut about 240 jobs here - 24 per cent of its local workforce - amid the pandemic.
Mostly technical roles will be affected by the layoffs, which will start in mid-August as part of a global restructuring, the company told The Business Times.
Rolls-Royce employs about 1,000 people here making fan blades and assembling and testing engines at Seletar Aerospace Park. This excludes its maintenance, repair and overhaul joint venture with SIA Engineering.
The lay-offs come after the engineering giant announced in May that it would slash at least 9,000 jobs worldwide, or over 17 per cent of its global headcount.
Airlines have grounded fleets as countries shut borders to curb the virus, which has had a knock-on impact on the aerospace industry.
Rolls-Royce said in London on Thursday (July 9) that it burned through £3 billion (S$5 billion) in the first half of the year and expects a further £1 billion outflow this half.
Mr Bicky Bhangu, president of Rolls-Royce for South-east Asia, the Pacific and South Korea, said: "The decision to remove jobs is not an action we take lightly.
"However, the impact of the pandemic on aviation worldwide is the most significant in history. We have to take swift action in order to secure the business for future generations."
Demand in the commercial aerospace market will "take several years to return" to pre-Covid levels, he added.
Rolls-Royce has been working with the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees' Union and NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to extend support to affected staff in areas such as job search and career coaching.
It is also engaging other firms to try to match its staff with roles available in those organisations.
Shares of the London-based company slid as much as 9.5 per cent on Thursday after it said it would borrow an added £2 billion to help see it through the downturn.
Chief executive Warren East said in a statement: "The Covid-19 pandemic has created a historic shock in civil aviation which will take several years to recover."