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Boeing to cut thousands of additional jobs through 2021 as it prepares for long air travel slump

About 19,000 employees are leaving Boeing this year, with thousands more job cuts announced for 2021.
Image: Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX airliner taxis for a two-hour evaluation flight at Boeing Field the in Seattle, Wash., on Sept.30, 2020.Jason Redmond / AFP - Getty Images file
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Boeing, which is already shedding 16,000 jobs, said Wednesday it will cut thousands more through the end of next year as it prepares for a long slump in air travel and aircraft demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing’s CEO David Calhoun told employees the company aims to have a staff of 130,000 by the end of 2021. Earlier this year, Boeing targeted a 10 percent cut to its staff, which stood at 160,000 people at the start of the year.

About 19,000 employees are leaving Boeing this year, but the company is adding some jobs in its more stable defense unit.

“As we align to market realities, our business units and functions are carefully making staffing decisions to prioritize natural attrition and stability in order to limit the impact on our people and our company,” Calhoun said in a staff note.

The pandemic’s impact on air travel demand, which is still not back to half of last year’s levels, has worsened Boeing’s crisis stemming from two fatal crashes of the 737 Max. Regulators are at the tail-end of the planes’ review but have still not signed off on them, preventing Boeing from delivering them to customers and crimping its cash flow as a result.

The company reported third-quarter results ahead of the market open, and Boeing executives will detail their results on a 10:30 a.m. ET earnings call.