Boeing 737 Max airplanes stored adjacent to Boeing Field in Seattle. Photograph: Stephen Brashear via Getty Images
24 August 2020
Boeing Co is proceeding with plans to cut off over 10% of its workforce by the end of the year as strain on the travel industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect company operations.
Before the global lockdowns began, the 104-year-old manufacturer was already experiencing a very turbulent period, with the grounding of its 737 Max aeroplanes. Two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia responsible for the deaths of 346 people, placed Boeing’s 737 max under constant fire from the media and aviation authorities. Correctly, commercial use of the model was barred internationally in March 2019, and that has remained the same since.
With the beginning of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, however, Boeing’s woes have only worsened. Orders for the companies other plane models have decreased drastically – a majority cancelled – leaving the manufacturer seeking new ways to stay alive.
The best option thus far appears to be releasing some of its 160,000 workers.
To date, Boeing has relieved over 12,000 employees of their duties – still shy of the 10% goal they’re looking to surpass. According to the latest announcement by Boeing’s CEO, David Calhoun, the next layoffs will target those in the commercial aeroplanes unit, services division and corporate operations.
The company coined the layoffs as “voluntary,” with Calhoun stating that the decision “will allow more employees who want to depart the company to do so voluntarily with a pay and benefits package.”
Calhoun also added, “unfortunately, layoffs are a hard but necessary step to align to our new reality, preserve liquidity and position ourselves for the eventual return to growth.”
Global travel restrictions have however assisted Boeing’s plight as the company managed to begin conducting tests on the 737 Max to prove its competency; returning it to the skies.