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Boeing culls jobs but seeks to revive 737 MAX

May 28, 2020

Boeing plans to let go of 10% of its total workforce. The company expects to start deliveries of its 737 MAX jetliner by October.

USA | Boeing 737
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/E. Thompson

The Boeing Company announced on Wednesday that it was slashing around 12,000 jobs in the US. The US airplane maker is reeling from the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed down airplane demand.

Boeing said that 6,770 employees would be let go this week, while 5,520 employees will leave voluntarily after receiving payout offers. Boeing's chief executive, Dave Calhoun, said that the company would provide severance pay, health coverage and career transition services to the 6,770 employees who were laid off against their will.

The US company plans to shed 10% of its workforce of 160,000 employees. A company spokesperson said that Wednesday's announcement was the largest job cut, but "several thousand" jobs would be cut over the next few months.

Boeing said that a reduction in its commercial jets and services would impact the number of jobs in the company over the next few years, without specifying a timeline. However, the company's defense unit would continue to hire to fill critical skill positions.

Read more: How Ethiopia Airlines' Boeing 737 Max crash triggered an aviation crisis

Amid crisis, production of Boeing 737 Max resumes

The same day, Boeing announced that it was resuming production of its 737 MAX jetliner in the state of Washington. The company plans to ramp up production of the jetliner this year.

The airplane maker plans to start deliveries of the plane by October, although regulatory approval for the model isn't expected before August. "We've been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger,” said Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program.

Production of the 737 MAX jetliner was temporarily halted last year after two fatal crashes. In March 2019, aviation authorities across the world grounded their Boeing 737 passenger jets after the company admitted to technical glitches in the jetliner. The scandal led to costs worth $19 billion for Boeing, pushing the company into the red.

Read more: Boeing, battered even before coronavirus, restarts in survival mode

am/aw (AP, AFP)

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