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Rolls-Royce says to briefly shut UK engine factories

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    Agence France-Presse

London, United Kingdom   /   Tue, February 9, 2021   /   01:45 pm
 Rolls-Royce says to briefly shut UK engine factories A Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, designed specifically for the Airbus A350 family of aircraft, is seen at the Rolls-Royce factory in Derby, the United Kingdom, in this file photo. British factories perked up unexpectedly in September, halting a three-month run of slowing growth even though the bigger picture stayed subdued six months ahead of Brexit, a survey showed on Monday. (Reuters/Paul Ellis)

British aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce said Monday that it will temporarily shut its jet engine factories for a fortnight this summer to combat a coronavirus-fuelled slump in demand.

Rolls added in a statement that the move was part of its ongoing efficiency drive to counter chronic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has savaged global air travel.

"As we continue to manage our cost base in response to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the whole commercial aviation sector, we are proposing a two-week operational shutdown of civil aerospace over the summer," the company said in response to media reports.

"We understand that this will be disappointing to our colleagues and intend to reduce the impact on pay by spreading it across the year.”

Rolls-Royce, which will publish annual earnings in March, added it was holding talks with trade unions over the matter. 

"As part of the agreement reached with the union last summer, we agreed in principle to enter into negotiations about delivering a 10-percent productivity and efficiency improvement across our civil aerospace operations in the UK," it said.

"We have now begun complex and constructive discussions with the union on how this can be achieved.”