Boeing to cut 15,000 jobs due to coronavirus pandemic

Global aerospace manufacturer Boeing has today announced plans to cut 10% of its workforce – around 15,000 employees – due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The US-based firm employs 150,000 people across the world and was already under pressure after being forced to ground its 737 Max planes following two fatal crashes and a series of investigations.

This is the latest leading name in the industry to announce mass layoffs, after British Airways announced that it would be cutting 12,000 jobs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of our business, including airline customer demand, production continuity and supply chain stability,” said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun.

“Our primary focus is the health and safety of our people and communities while we take tough but necessary action to navigate this unprecedented health crisis and adapt for a changed marketplace.”

While 10% of jobs will be cut across the company, Boeing admitted that reductions would be steeper in some departments, such as its commercial airlines business.

Boeing has also taken action to manage near-term liquidity, as it has drawn on a term loan facility; reduced operating costs and discretionary spending; extended the existing pause on share repurchases and suspended dividends until further notice; reduced or deferred research and development and capital expenditures; and eliminated CEO and Chairman pay for the year. Access to additional liquidity will be critical for Boeing and the aerospace manufacturing sector to bridge to recovery, and the company is actively exploring all of the available options. Boeing believes it will be able to obtain sufficient liquidity to fund its operations.

“While COVID-19 is adding unprecedented pressure to our business, we remain confident in our long term future,” said Calhoun.  “We continue to support our defense customers in their critical national security missions. We are progressing toward the safe return to service of the 737 MAX, and we are driving safety, quality and operational excellence into all that we do every day. Air travel has always been resilient, our portfolio of products and technology is well positioned, and we are confident we will emerge from the crisis and thrive again as a leader of our industry.”