13,000 jobs to go as GE Aviation cuts workforce by up to 25%

General Electric Co (GE) has confirmed that in 2020 it intends to reduce its aviation sector workforce by 25%, which equates to the loss of approximately 13,000 jobs. The cuts will include both voluntary and involuntary layoffs, the company citing the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the drastic action.

With American passenger air travel demand having plummeted by 95% and a general consensus that little will change until 2021, along with it likely taking many more years before travel returns to 2019 levels, GE has joined the ranks of Boeing Co which announced last week that it was reducing its workforce by 10%, which equates to approximately 16,000 jobs, while Spirit AeroSystems Holdings is to cut a further 1.450 jobs in Kansas.

The announcement includes the 10% cut in workforce announced in March as part of a US$3 billion cost-cutting and cash-saving exercise at GE Aviation. According to GE Aviation’s chief executive, David Joyce, the “deep contraction of commercial aviation is unprecedented, affecting every customer worldwide. Global traffic is expected to be down approximately 80% in the second quarter.”

GE Aviation had previously invoked furloughs covering roughly 50% of its maintenance, repair and overhaul workforce and new engine production. To date, neither GE nor Boeing have applied for U.S. government assistance from the US$17 billion treasury fund.

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