Boeing expected to announce voluntary buyouts in message to all 161,000 employees

Boeing Co. is expected to announce voluntary buyouts in a message to its 161,000 employees on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the plans.

No details were available for the size of the workforce reductions or areas in the company where they might occur, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the matter is confidential.

Boeing and Airbus SE face a sharp contraction in demand as airlines around the world pare schedules and park planes as the coronavirus pandemic curbs travel. About 44% of the global aircraft fleet is in storage, according to an estimate by Cirium.

Chicago-based Boeing, already reeling from a prolonged grounding of its 737 Max, faces a falloff in demand for twin-aisle aircraft like its 787 Dreamliner and 777X. Wide-body jetliner production could tumble by 60% over the next three years, Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu predicted in a March 31 report.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the voluntary buyouts at Boeing. A Boeing representative in Asia couldn’t immediately comment.

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