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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Boeing to Cut 8,000 Commercial Plane Jobs to Remain Competitive, Sources Reveal

Boeing Co. plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs as plane sales battle toughens

(Photo : Getty Image) Boeing Co. plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs as plane sales battle toughens

Boeing Co. is reportedly planning to slash up to 8,000 jobs in its commercial plane section, according to two sources, a move that could cut a $1 billion cost and help against its sales battle with Europe's Airbus.

The Chicago-based firm confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to reduce its headcount by 4,000 in the commercial airplanes division in the middle of the year, with about a third via voluntary layoffs while the rest are via leaving positions unfilled, according to a spokesman from Boeing. Moreover, it will also cut some 550 jobs in another unit responsible for flight and lab testing.

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According to the sources, the company plans to cut jobs by 10 percent at its commercial airplane unit, which currently employs 80,000 individuals. Boeing, however, clarified that the figure is hypothetical and no specific plans were laid down yet.

"There is no employment reduction target," Doug Alder from Boeing told Reuters. "The more we can control costs as a whole, the less impact there will be to employment."

A sheer amount of executives, managers and employees will be included in the job cut, he said. He added that the lay-off is to maintain the aerospace and defense company competitive.

The savings are important to "win in the market, fund our growth and operate as a healthy business," Ray Conner, company chief executive, told employees last February.

Investors said that rather than being an orderly plan to match labor and output, the large number of job cuts is Boeing's exhausted response to the business slowdown and tough rivalry against Airbus.

"It sounds reactive, not proactive," Boeing's fund manager said.

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