French commercial engine manufacturer Safran announced plans on Jan. 2 to hire 12,000 people worldwide this year to rebuild its capacity, after it cut 20,000 jobs and closed seven sites over 18 months due to the global pandemic.
3,000 of these new jobs will be in France.
Safran is the world’s third-largest aerospace contractor with an expected revenue of 15.6 billion euros in 2021.
Safran co-produces jet aircraft engines for Airbus and Boeing in a 50/50 joint-venture with U.S. manufacturer General Electric, called CFM International.
CFM International corners 72 percent of the market against its rival Pratt & Whitney, which is owned by Raytheon Technologies.
The engines are primarily installed Airbus A320 NEO and the Boeing 737 MAX commercial aircraft.
Air traffic around the world has gradually recovered since 2020 and orders for critical aircraft components are on the uptake from clients in the industry.
Safran, along with most other firms, dramatically reduced production and cut some positions in response to the sharp downturn in orders from airlines when the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus hit.
The company believes that the aviation crisis caused by the pandemic is subsiding and that there will now be a focus on recovery in the aircraft industry.
“Today air traffic is recovering, the placing of orders is dynamic, the tempo is increasing. The worst is behind us. I am very confident,” CEO Olivier Andries said in an interview with Le Figaro.
“We are in the process of coming out of the crisis and we’ve decided to relaunch our hiring, with 12,000 hires planned in 2022, of which 3,000 will be in France,” he said.
Andries said that Omicron creates short-term uncertainties, but the company still assumes that the medium-haul market will recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
The Safran CEO’s bullish forecast and new spending plans were a major vote of confidence and a sign that the worst is over for the industry.
Shares of Boeing on the NYSE rose 6.54 points at 3.25 percent to $207.86 at the end of trading after the Safran’s announcement.
GE stock was also up due to the confident news at $96.24 a share, an increase of 1.77 points at 1.87 percent.
Analysts are hopeful that commercial flight departures will improve in 2022, as increased aftermarket growth would encourage airlines to expand capacity and invest in new planes.
Both Boeing and Airbus have been seeking to ramp up aircraft production since the start of the pandemic, and the announcement from Safran is viewed as a positive development.