Boeing plans cutbacks amid coronavirus losses

Boeing 777
A Boeing 777 jet is assembled at the company’s plant in Everett. (Boeing Photo)

Boeing says it’s planning to reduce its workforce by 10% and cut back on production of wide-body jets in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s dramatic effect on the aviation industry.

“We will be a smaller company for a while,” David Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO and president, told investors today during a conference call.

The moves came as the company reported an adjusted loss of $1.7 billion and a negative cash flow of $4.7 billion for the first quarter of the year. It was the second quarterly loss in a row, but it wasn’t as bad as analysts feared. As a result, Boeing’s shares finished today’s trading session up nearly 6%, at a closing price of $139.

In a letter to employees, Calhoun said that the pandemic has delivered a “body blow to our business.”

“The aviation industry will take years to return to the levels of traffic we saw just a few months ago,” he wrote.

In response, the company has started executing a plan for a 10% reduction in total workforce through a combination of voluntary layoffs, natural turnover and involuntary layoffs as necessary.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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