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More cuts in store for GE Aviation as pandemic continues to stymie airline industry

Posted at 4:13 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 16:18:23-04

EVENDALE, Ohio — GE announced Monday cuts will continue to hit the manufacturing giant's aviation sector as the impact of the novel coronavirus unfolds across the airline industry.

"To protect our business, we have responded with difficult cost-cutting actions over the last two months," GE Aviation CEO David Joyce wrote in a May 4 message to GE Aviation employees. "Unfortunately, more is required as we scale the business to the realities of our commercial market."

In late March, GE Aviation announced it would cut 2,500 U.S. jobs in respose to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten days later, it announced it would furlough 50% of its remaining manufacturing workforce.

Monday's communication did not indicate the specifics of further cuts beyond stating that the corporation's global employee base will face a permanent reduction of 25% this year.

"These plans, which we expect will be ready over the coming months, are part of a comprehensive strategy we are developing for resizing the business consistent with the forecast of our commercial market," Joyce wrote.

Monday's news release indicated that global airline traffic is expected to be down 80% in the second quarter when compared to weeks before the pandemic began to effect the Chinese economy in early February.

"Our aircraft manufacturers have announced reduced production schedules that will extend into 2021 and beyond," Joyce said.

The news release emphasized that no final decisions have been made regarding future cuts to GE Aviation staff and production and that management will consult with employees or their union representatives before finalizing those decisions.