November 29, 2020

Boeing warns of 30,000 job cuts after another quarter of heavy losses

US firm posts $925m loss as it struggles with pandemic and grounding of 737 Max plane

Boeing has warned it would cut the jobs of 30,000 workers after another quarter of heavy losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the grounding of its bestselling 737 Max plane.

The US manufacturer said it expected to have a workforce of 130,000 by the end of 2021, down from 160,000 before the pandemic.

Boeing announced 16,000 job losses in April, when the extent of the Covid crisis became clear, but deepened the planned cuts to 19,000 in July, when it announced the it would stop producing the 747 airliner .

The company reported a $925m (£715m) for the third quarter of 2020, although tax benefits meant the net loss attributable to shareholders was $449m. That compared with a profit of $1.2bn in the same period last year.

Airlines have grounded their planes because of the pandemic, forcing Boeing and its European rival, Airbus, to cut production as orders dry up.

The global aerospace industry has recorded it worst ever quarter, with record low orders as airlines have tried to delay or renegotiate new planes in an attempt to save money.

For Boeing the financial difficulty has been amplified by the grounding of the 737 Max since March 2019 after two fatal crashes. The plane is close to regaining certification from regulators in Europe and the USA.

Dave Calhoun, Boeing’s chief executive, said: “The global pandemic continued to add pressure to our business this quarter, and we’re aligning to this new reality by closely managing our liquidity and transforming our enterprise to be sharper, more resilient and more sustainable for the long term.

“Our diverse portfolio, including our government services, defence and space programmes, continues to provide some stability for us as we adapt and rebuild for the other side of the pandemic.”