American aviation giant Boeing could cut its more than 150,000-strong workforce by around 10 percent as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the global airline industry, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The plane maker could offer its workers early retirement as well as voluntary layoffs, the outlet said, citing sources, adding that the plan could also include buyouts. The company has not made the final decision yet.
Boeing’s commercial unit could be affected most by the potential job cuts as it has been under tremendous pressure due to the pandemic, which has seen carriers significantly scaling back operations. The report added that the fate of the employees at Boeing’s defense and services arms is unclear so far.
After halting most hiring among other measures introduced in March to save money, Boeing revealed plans to offer buyouts and early retirement packages to employees. The plan was announced last week, but it did not elaborate on the number of people it will affect. In a memo to employees, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said that the company should “start adjusting to our new reality” as it will take time for the airline industry to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
The Covid-19 outbreak has only added trouble for cash-strapped Boeing, which was already reeling from the global grounding of its best-selling 737 MAX jets after two fatal crashes. The tragedies, which occurred in the span of five months last year, killed 346 people. Boeing halted 737 production in January.
The 737 Max fiasco pummeled the aviation giant’s finances, resulting in its first full-year loss in more than two decades.
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