Bombardier cuts 600 jobs cut in N.Ireland due to virus downturn

More than 600 jobs are to be cut at aviation manufacturer Bombardier's Northern Ireland plant as the firm makes drastic cuts to weather coronavirus turbulence, a spokesman said Thursday.

"We must adjust our core workforce levels downwards by around 400 to align with market demand for the remainder of this year and through 2021," the spokesman said in a statement.

The firm will also be "gradually releasing" some 200 contractors working at the firm's Belfast base.

These cuts will be made "to align with current market conditions reflecting the extraordinary industry interruptions and challenges caused by Covid-19" the spokesman added.

The Canadian company last week announced plans for 2,500 redundancies across its worldwide aviation operations, citing an anticipated 30 per cent drop in demand for its jets.

Bombardier has endured a difficult period of restructuring over the last five years, selling off its trains and commercial aviation divisions.

The firm -- which began by making snowmobiles eight decades ago -- was reduced to a single division focussed on the business jet market.

Last month it reported a $200 million first quarter loss after production was hobbled when authorities ordered a COVID-19 shutdown of assembly lines.