IF supply chains across north east Wales are damaged by Airbus job losses they will be "almost impossible" to rebuild, a business leader has warned.

The longstanding aircraft manufacturer announced on Tuesday evening that 1,700 of its UK jobs may be at risk, including at its Broughton plant.

It comes as part of the company's proposals to reduce its global workforce by 15,000 in an effort to safeguard its future following the impact of covid-19.

Askar Sheibani, managing director and CEO of Comtek Network Systems and chairman of Deeside Business Forum (DBF), spoke of his grave concerns over the impact such job losses could have.

"This area is well known for aerospace and advanced manufacturing," he said.

"We have one of the biggest aeroplane manufacturers here in Deeside and when something like that happens it puts the area on the global stage and attracts a huge number of supply chains.

"These engineering companies are world-class and they provide support to global, well-known companies like Airbus.

"We have plenty of these in Wrexham and Deeside - some home grown and some from investment.

"My worry is that if we allow these companies to go down we risk losing these talented, highly skilled engineers.

"If they lose their jobs they will disappear and go somewhere else. To rebuild that would be almost impossible.

"And how on earth could Airbus grow back if there is a shortage of skills?

"I don't think they would stay here if they don't have that skilled workforce and that could be devastating or our region an the north west of England.

"I am very worried about the future of north east Wales and I have been warning about it for several months.

"The UK Government must act quickly and intervene with something more than the furlough scheme.

"It will be a very sad day if they don't."