06:30 GMT08 August 2020
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    Boeing has been reeling from a drop in demand for aircraft, as travel plunges amid the pandemic and worsens the pressure on the company, which was already in crisis following two fatal crashes of its 737 Max and the global grounding of the plane last year.

    More than 12,000 Boeing workers in the US are set to lose their jobs in the coming weeks, as cuts at the American aerospace giant take effect, the firm has announced. 

    Boeing announced plans to lay off almost 7,000 workers this week, as the coronavirus crisis continues to impact the aircraft manufacturer.

    "We have come to the unfortunate moment of having to start involuntary layoffs. We’re notifying the first 6,770 of our U.S. team members this week that they will be affected," Boeing CEO David Calhoun wrote Wednesday in a letter to employees.

    The reductions had been expected since Boeing revealed plans last month to cut its global workforce by 10% - or roughly 16,000 jobs.

    Boeing said on Wednesday that 5,520 employees had been approved for voluntary layoff. Calhoun also said on Wednesday that international locations would see "workforce reductions."

    In April, customers cancelled more than 100 orders for the 737 and the firm said it had received no new reservations, as reported by the BBC

    Boeing said it still expected to restart 737 Max production this year and that some airlines were reporting signs of recovery.

    “But these signs of eventual recovery do not mean the global health and economic crisis is over. Our industry will come back, but it will take some years to return to what it was just two months ago,” Calhoun wrote.

    Air travel has seen a 95 percent decline in traffic since the coronavirus hit, with major airlines canceling the majority of domestic flights, suspending nearly all international flights, pulling out of airports, laying off pilots and crews, and cutting worker pay and hours, according to NBC

    The other major aircraft maker, Airbus, furloughed 6,000 staff in Europe in April. But it has yet to announce any permanent job cuts.

    Airlines around the world are also cutting jobs or making plans to do so. But US airlines are prohibited from making involuntary job cuts until October under terms of a US government bailout for the industry, as reported by CNN.

    Tags:
    airplane, layoffs, COVID-19, Boeing 737
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