320 British jobs lost as refuelling work moves to Spain

Around 320 jobs are to go at an aircraft manufacturing plant in Bournemouth, after a consortium producing new air-to-air refuelling jets for the British government decided to move the work to Madrid.

Cobham Aviation Services and Airbus Military today announced that the ten aircraft will be converted in Spain, rather than the UK.

Locating the engineers and design team at one place will allow the consortium to get the planes to the UK “on time and to cost”, said AirTanker.

This announcement caused Cobham shares to drop two per cent to 228.15p in early trading.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense agreed to lease 14 Airbus A330 aircraft from the EADS-led AirTanker consortium for £10.5bn in 2008, to replace its ageing fleet of Lockheed Martin TriStars and Vickers VC10s which have been criticized for lacking the ability to operate efficiently in war zones.

Cobham said that the change would not have an affect on the company’s finance.

The change is expected to take place by the end of next year, which will leave 237 Cobham employees and 83 contractors jobless.