EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Thompson Aero Seating

Thompson Aero Seating

Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom
Region: West and South of Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland
Location of affected unit(s): Portadown, Carn and Banbridge


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of transport equipment
30.99 - Manufacture of other transport equipment n.e.c.
Number Employed: 1600
Group: AVIC Cabin Systems Group

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 27-03-2020
Planned Job Reductions min: 830
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 27-03-2020
Direct Dismissals: 830

Additional Information

Thompson Aero Seating, the UK-based designer and manufacturer of premium quality aircraft seats, has made 330 agency, temporary and contractor employees redundant in Northern Ireland with immediate effect.

The company has issued a statement saying that due to the Covid-19 pandemic its airline customers had reduced their orders, which had a direct effect on the business and it is important that the company’s output matches the demand. Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly have called on the company’s management to reconsider the job cuts and access the UK government’s scheme for salary protection.

Thompson Aero Seating is one of the leading suppliers of business and first class aircraft seating, whose customers include Delta, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. The company’s majority owner is the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, controlled by the Chinese state.

Update 2/7/2020:

Thompson Aero Seating has announced that it will cut up to 500 additional jobs, two-fifths of its Northern Irish workforce. It has been reported that due to a major order with a June completion, the company was not able to furlough staff under the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Protection Scheme, as workers had to be furloughed for the first time by 10 June 2020 to receive support under the Scheme. The total number of job losses is now at 830.