Major Aircraft Factory Forced to Close

by Claudia Mok

AIM Altitude, a leading supplier of air cabin interiors, has announced that they are to close a firm leaving almost a hundred people without jobs.

AIM Altitude Firm in Dafen

[AIM Altitude Firm in Dafen, Llanelli] | © [Google]

Challenges amid COVID-19

With the coronavirus disrupting the aviation sector, it has left companies like AIM Altitude struggling with the fall in demand. Back in February this year, the company were consulting with its employees at the Dafen firm in Wales, bracing them for closure if the struggle continued; with little improvement, they announced on 13 April that the firm is to close very soon.

The company told BBC News that: “the coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented and major challenges for the airline industry and, in line with other companies in the aerospace sector, AIM Altitude’s production has been adversely affected by the situation”.

Emirates' Premium Onboard Bar Lufthansa's Premium First Class Cabin

[Left, Emirates A380 Premium Lounge, Right, Lufthansa’s 747-81 First Class Cabin] | © [AIM Altitude]

AIM Altitude creates premium interior designs for aircrafts, including Emirates’ A380 bar and Lufthansa’s 747-8I First Class Cabin. They aim at making ultra-long-haul flights more comfortable and enjoyable, which led them to win Crystal Cabin of the Year 2019 . Dafen’s factory closure exemplifies the lack of demand for travel and comfort amid the pandemic.

Soaring Rates of Decline

The close of the firm adds to the outstanding amount of people left unemployed by the aviation industry. The outbreak of the coronavirus has caused widespread disruption to the sector leaving thousands to seek alternative means of employment; examples include flight attendants starting businesses in skincare, and pilots becoming bus drivers to earn an income.

Airplane in Bleak sky

Devastated by this announcement, Nia Griffith MP of Llanelli released a statement on her webpage: ‘‘For a year now, we have been asking the UK Government for a specific Aviation Sector Covid Package, because everyone can see that the sector has been very badly hit, […] and such a deal could have could have made all the difference.’’

‘‘Without [… this], I fear many other jobs in the aerospace and aviation industries will also be at risk.’’

As Griffith states, many more may go down a similar route. Employees at Dafen have until the end of May before the factory’s closure. Perhaps it is time for the government to consider the problems at hand.

How do you think the aerospace and aviation sector will recover from the changes mentioned in the post? Let us know in the comments below.

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