This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce plans to “significantly reduce all but essential activity” within its UK civil aerospace facilities for one week staring midnight on Friday, while continuing to pay its workers. Its civil aero-engine business, based primarily in Derby, employs some 15,000 people.
The company said in a statement the move would enable it “to confirm the effectiveness of the measures taken to date and enhance our processes in order to sustain modified operations and activities over a longer period.
“Our priority since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak has been to ensure the well-being of all our employees. We have been actively implementing government guidelines throughout our global facilities, particularly those relating to social distancing, including in the UK where our manufacturing sites have to date remained fully operational," it added. “This will allow us to focus on supporting customers and vital services, including air freight operations, during the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, we will continue to maintain our critical capability that ensures airlines can continue to operate.”
Designated a key supplier for the UK military, Rolls-Royce must ensure its defense facilities in the country “remain operational” so that it can “continue to supply and support the engines that power military aircraft, naval vessels, and other vehicles, many of which are being called upon to assist the relief effort.”
Rolls-Royce's share price has fallen almost by half in March, while many of its customers grounded the majority of their fleets due to the pandemic.