Boeing is to cut another 7,000 jobs as its losses mount in the pandemic.

The US planemaker, which had already announced deep cuts, said its staff would be down to just 130,000 by the end of next year – 20% down on the 160,000 it employed before the crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic and safety concerns about its 737 Max jet have contributed to a slump in orders.

The firm posted a loss of $466m (£354m) for the three months to 30 September, its fourth straight quarterly decline.

However, it reaffirmed its expectation that US deliveries of the 737 Max would resume before the end of the year, albeit at deeply reduced production rates.

The fleet has been grounded since March 2019 after 346 people died in two separate air crashes.

Pressure

The pandemic added to the crisis, causing a huge drop in air travel, pushing major airlines to the brink of bankruptcy and forcing them to cut staff and drop plans for new aircraft.

As a result, Boeing has slashed production and also cut jobs. The firm announced a 10% reduction this spring and warned of the likelihood of deeper cuts through attrition, buyouts and layoffs over the summer. It does not expect travel to return to pre-crisis levels until about 2023.

It said its revenues were down 30% in the first nine months of the year, at $42bn.

Its third quarter loss, meanwhile, compares with a $1.2bn profit in the same period last year.

Boeing president and chief executive Dave Calhoun said the pandemic had “continued to add pressure” to the business .

But he added: “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.”

The planemaker said it was making “steady progress” towards the safe return to service of the 737 Max, including “rigorous certification and validation flights” conducted by the US, Canadian and EU regulators.

It said the jet had now completed around 1,400 test flights and more than 3,000 flight hours.

SOURCE – BBC NEWS

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