Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

More lay offs in aviation industry as pandemic continues to wreak havoc

Boeing, American Airlines, easyJet and Kuwait Airways are among the latest industry players cutting staff

A worker walks outside of a Boeing facility in Everett, Washington, US, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Bloomberg
A worker walks outside of a Boeing facility in Everett, Washington, US, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Bloomberg

The global aviation industry is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as plane manufactures and airlines carry on cutting jobs and scaling back operations in an attempt to stay in business.

Boeing on Wednesday said it is laying off 6,770 US employees, the first cut in its planned global headcount reduction programme to slash costs.

The company has previously said it planned to reduce its 160,000 workforce by 10 per cent. Workforce cuts in Boeing's international operations will be announced separately, it said in a statement.

Another 5,520 US employees have been approved to leave voluntarily with severance packages and will depart Boeing in the next few weeks.

Boeing's European rival Airbus may also lay off about 10,000 staff as it tries to rein in production and control cash burn.

Major airlines across the globe have already started cutting jobs in thousand and more are following suit. American Airlines plans to reduce its management and support staff by about 30 per cent and may have to cut frontline employees as it downsizes. American, with over 100,000 employees, will offer voluntary options before implementing involuntary reductions, according to a letter to its employees.

Britain's low-cost carrier easyJet said it is looking to cut 4,500 jobs and slash its fleet as it looks to rationalise costs and maintain a smaller operations base. The airline is aiming for a 30 per cent reduction in its 15,000 staff, which it employs in eight European countries, it said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

State-owned Kuwait Airways will also lay off 1,500 employees, representing a quarter of its entire workforce, it has emerged.

The pandemic has forced carriers to go from growth to survival mode within a matter of months. The outbreak is expected to cut airlines' passenger revenue by more than half, or about $314 billion (Dh1.15 trillion) this year, according to the International Air Transport Association, which said about 25 million jobs in the sector are at risk.

Updated: May 28, 2020 08:47 PM

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