Aviation industry seeking ways out of corona crisis

Westhagemann focusing on preserving jobs, promoting research and innovation
02 July 2020
ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research in Hamburg

Airbus has announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide including more than 5,000 in Germany. The aviation industry is facing threats to its survival in the wake of the corona crisis. The job cuts are likely to hit Hamburg, the largest Airbus plant in Germany, and the world’s third largest civil aviation centre. However, the senate is expected to invest up to EUR 50 million in the sector between 2020 and 2022. This highlights the need for joint efforts between industry and politics to achieve CO2-neutrality, sustainable aviation and innovative concepts along the entire value chain.

"Preserving jobs and promoting sustainable innovations"

"I am in close contact with those responsible at Airbus," said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Innovation.  Apart from Airbus, Lufthansa Technik and the airport, the crisis has also hit the mid-sized supply industry. We are doing everything possible to help. We are currently in talks with the German government about extending the short-time work allowance. In the short-term, we are focusing on keeping skilled workers' jobs at the site. We want to focus on sustainability by promoting research and innovation, especially in the aviation sector in the medium to long-term. Our clusters are invaluable in this respect."

Future of aviation

The City of Hamburg is promoting innovation as a means of emerging from the crisis. This strategy means securing employment through qualification and digitalization initially. The aim is to expand Hamburg's aviation research funding with a view to "Clean and Healthy Skies" in the medium-term. The long-term focus will be on developing an A320 successor as a "zero emission" aircraft and expanding the Centre for Applied Aviation Research (ZAL Tech Center) in Finkenwerder by two further sections dedicated to the future of aviation.