Airbus to reduce engineering staff

WICHITA — Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft aren’t the only aircraft manufacturers cutting jobs in Wichita.

Airbus also will be reducing its engineering staff.

“This is not bad news,” says spokeswoman Kristi Tucker.

“This type of staffing balance is not unusual in the aviation industry,” she says. “At some point in every project, the product leaves the engineering and design phase and goes into production, so you don’t need as much engineering focus on it.”

Currently, about 370 of Airbus’ 400 Wichita employees are engineers.

“It’s been at a top level,” Tucker says. “It’s more work than we’ve ever done or ever managed out of that office.”

She says she can’t discuss specific numbers of how many jobs will be eliminated because that’s not been determined yet.

“There will be a handful from the Wichita engineering office,” Tucker says. “I can tell you that by the end of the year, we’ll still be well above 300 engineers in the Wichita office.”

She adds, “I can say the majority of the adjustments will be made in the supply chain.”

Some of those jobs are in Wichita as well, but Tucker says she can’t say how many.

She says Wichita engineers are welcome to apply for any open positions with Airbus in Mobile, Ala., but Tucker says no jobs are moving there.

It’s not clear when or if the engineers could be rehired in Wichita.

“It just depends on the workload,” Tucker says.

She says the Wichita Airbus office is “a key player in Airbus’ engineering chain.”

“We’re still committed to Wichita.”