Boeing to cut 10% of work force as 1Q revenue, profit slide

Boeing is cutting about 10% of its work force and slowing production of planes to deal with a downturn in business that started with the grounding of its best-selling jet and has accelerated because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing Co. says Wednesday it has started to shrink through attrition, paying people to leave, and “layoffs as necessary.”

The company began the year with about 161,000 employees.

Boeing announces the job cuts as it reported a loss of $641 million in the first quarter. It earned $2.15 billion in the same period last year. Revenue fell 26%, to $16.91 billion.

The job cuts will be deepest — more than 15% — in the large division that makes airline jets. Deliveries of those planes has plummeted by two-thirds in 2020, compared with a year earlier. Boeing’s defense and space unit will likely see the fewest jobs eliminated.

“I know this news is a blow during an already challenging time,” CEO David Calhoun says in a memo to employees. “I regret the impact this will have on many of you. I sincerely wish there were some other way.”

Calhoun says Boeing will reduce production of its large 787 and 777 jets and slowly resume production of the grounded 737 Max at “low rates” this year, gradually rising to 31 a month next year. Boeing was building 52 Max jets a month before regulators around the world grounded the plane in March 2019 after two crashes that killed 346 people.

— AP

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