6,700 forced job losses follow on from Boeing’s VLO program

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Having laid off over 5,520 workers through its Voluntary Lay Off program, Boeing has announced that the company’s current financial plight will require the shedding of many thousands more jobs over the coming months, starting with an initial tranche of 6,700 compulsory redundancies.

The world’s second-largest planemaker has been struggling with the financial fallout from the 737 MAX program which has seen that jet grounded since March 2019 and unlikely to take to the skies until August 2020 at the earliest, a problem now exacerbated by the affect of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on global air travel and, consequently, demand for new aircraft.

In April Boeing announced that it would be cutting its 160,000-strong workforce by 10% but the end of this year.  Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told employees via email that the: “pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices. … I wish there were some other way.”

April saw a second month where there were no aircraft sales and the order book showed a negative balance after orders for 108 of the 737 MAX were canceled. In April, Boeing raised US$25 billion in a bond offering, enabling it to avoid taking government aid. 

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