Boeing Sets 2,900 New Job Cuts

Boeing Co on Monday announced 2,900 job cuts, boosting its total since the Sept. 11 hijack attacks to 14,900 or nearly half the 30,000 jobs it has said it could cut by the end of 2002.

The 2,900 employees getting 60-day layoff notices on Monday included 2,100 in Boeing's beleaguered commercial jet unit, where orders have shriveled as airlines park aircraft and cut deliveries of new jets to match shrinking air travel demand, spokesman Tom Ryan told Reuters.

Chicago-based Boeing said the latest cuts also include 700 workers in its shared services group and another 100 mostly from its embryonic Connexion airborne Internet service and its Joint Strike Fighter program, which lost a massive Pentagon award to rival Lockheed Martin Corp. last month.

The latest 2,900 cuts include 2,100 jobs in the Seattle area, Ryan said.

Boeing in October announced 12,000 job cuts, which take effect on Dec. 14, and said it would ultimately cut a total of 20,000 to 30,000 workers. The first round included 11,400 commercial airplane workers and 600 from shared services.

Boeing also redeployed 200 of 600 Connexion workers in late September as airlines backed away from the service and Boeing focused on flight safety and security applications for the satellite-based communications network.

The aerospace giant has slashed projected deliveries from its world-leading commercial jet unit to 350 to 400 in 2002 from an expected 522 this year. In 2003 the forecast falls even lower and some industry analysts believe the totals will fall even lower.

Earlier this month Boeing Chairman Phil Condit predicted the current travel slump would cost the manufacturer about 1,000 jet deliveries over the next several years.

Depending on size, Boeing jetliners sell for roughly $30 million to nearly $200 million each. The company has said it needs to shed workers to meet its stated goal of remaining profitable despite the lost orders.

Several airlines have already failed and others are said to be teetering near bankruptcy in the wake of the hijackings, which boosted airlines' operating costs and left many of their planes half-empty.

At the end of October, Boeing employed a total of 196,500 workers and 91,600 in its Seattle-based commercial jet unit.

The company expects to send out its next batch of 60-day layoff notices on Dec. 21, Ryan said.