Boeing Co. is planning to slash up to 8,000 jobs this year in its commercial airplane division, a move that could save US$1 billion in costs and help it better compete with European rival Airbus.
The plan comes after Boeing said on Wednesday that it will cut about 4,000 jobs in that division by mid-year, and another 550 jobs in a flight and lab testing unit, Reuters reports.
Sources said the company’s broad goal is to cut jobs by 10 percent at its commercial airplane unit, which has about 80,000 employees.
Boeing said the 8,000 figure is hypothetical and that it does not have a specific goal for job cuts.
“There is no employment reduction target,” spokesman Doug Alder said.
“The more we can control costs as a whole, the less impact there will be to employment.”
Boeing said the job reductions are part of a broad cost-cutting drive to keep the Chicago-based aerospace and defense company competitive.
Boeing is enjoying the biggest peacetime boom in its 100-year history, increasing jetliner output to historic levels.
But it is using fewer workers than in the past and cutting other costs to compete with Airbus.
The savings are necessary to “win in the market, fund our growth and operate as a healthy business,” Ray Conner, chief executive of the airplane business, told employees last month.
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