ROLLS-Royce which employs hundreds of people at its two sites in Barnoldswick said today it plans to cut 9,000 jobs from its worldwide workforce because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Although it has said it does not know where the redundancies will hit, around two thirds of its 52,000 global workforce are employed in the UK.

The company describes the impact on Rolls-Royce and the whole of the aviation industry as 'unprecedented'.

And, although it has already taken action to strengthen the financial resilience of the business and reduce cash expenditure in 2020, it has become increasingly clear that activity in the commercial aerospace market will take several years to return to the levels seen just a few months ago.

It says it must now address the medium-term structural changes, as demand from customers reduces significantly for its civil aerospace engines and after-market services.

Chief Executive, Warren East, said: “This is not a crisis of our making. But it is the crisis that we face and we must deal with it.

"Our airline customers and airframe partners are having to adapt and so must we. Being told that there is no longer a job for you is a terrible prospect and it is especially hard when all of us take so much pride in working for Rolls-Royce. But we must take difficult decisions to see our business through these unprecedented times."

He added: "Governments across the world are doing what they can to assist businesses in the short-term, but we must respond to market conditions for the medium-term until the world of aviation is flying again at scale, and governments cannot replace sustainable customer demand that is simply not there.

"We have to do this right, which means we will work closely with our employee and trade union representatives as appropriate, look at any viable alternatives to mitigate the impact, consult with everyone affected and treat our people with dignity and respect.”

The 'major reorganisation' of the business will also include the reduction in expenditure across plant and property.

Rolls-Royce says because it will have to consult with employees and trade unions, it is not as yet providing further details of the impact on, or proposed reorganisation of specific sites, or even countries.

Mr East added: “The strategic choices that we have made over the last few years have helped us to respond rapidly to Covid-19 and the synergies between our divisions leave us well placed to capitalise on the long-term potential of our markets. "The world on the other side of this pandemic will need the power that we generate to fuel economic recovery.

"I absolutely believe the call for that power to be more sustainable will be stronger than ever. This plays to our strengths. We must ensure that we are able to continue to innovate and play our leading role in enabling the vital sectors in which we operate achieve net zero carbon emissions.

"We have emerged from troubled times before, to achieve incredible things. We will do so again.”