Air tanker work moving to Spain
More than 300 jobs are facing the axe after it emerged work on air tanker refuelling planes for the Ministry of Defence will be moved to Spain.
The consortium behind the “Voyager” planes is to shift the final stages of production for the remaining ten aircraft from Bournemouth to Getafe, near Madrid.
Some 240 staff employed by Cobham, which is part of the consortium, and 80 contractors will continue to work on two planes until early next year.
A spokesman for Cobham said it is possible that some of the workers could move to Spain or to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to service the aircraft.
The “AirTanker” consortium – which comprises Babcock Cobham, EADS, Rolls-Royce, and Thales, has a £10.5 billion deal to lease 14 modified Airbus A330 aircraft to the MoD as it looks to replace its ageing fleet.
The first two were converted in Spain by Airbus Military, the aircraft’s designers, but the following 12 were due to be finished in the UK.
It is understood that, because the original A330 aircraft are designed in Spain, it will be quicker and more efficient to convert them there too.
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