Boeing has announced it is laying off nearly 7,000 employees in its US operations as it starts involuntary layoffs.
In a letter to the employees, Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun wrote: "Following the reduction-in-force announcement we made last month, we have concluded our voluntary layoff (VLO) program. And now we have come to the unfortunate moment of having to start involuntary layoffs (ILO). We're notifying the first 6,770 of our U.S. team members this week that they will be affected."
He further said that the company will provide all the support it can to the impacted employees including severance pay, COBRA health care coverage for US employees and career transition services.
The CEO further said that the company's international locations are also working through workforce reductions that will be communicated locally on their own timelines in accordance with local laws and benefit terms.
"The COVID-19 pandemic's devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices. We have done our very best to project the needs of our commercial airline customers over the next several years as they begin their path to recovery," he said.
Calhoun noted that some green shoots are visible as some of Boeing's customers are reporting that reservations are outpacing cancellations on their flights for the first time since the pandemic started.
Some countries and US states are starting cautiously to open their economies again and some parts of Boeing's business, most notably on the defense side, will continue hiring to meet customer commitments and fill critical skill positions, he added.