Boeing to slash up to 2,300 jobs in Seattle area

PHOTO: Boeing to slash up to 2,300 jobs in Seattle area

NEW YORK - US aerospace giant Boeing said Friday it would cut between 2,000 to 2,300 jobs by the end of the year in the Seattle region as it winds down development of its 787 and 747 aircraft.

About 800 workers of Boeing Commercial Airplanes will be laid off, with the rest of the cutbacks coming through attrition, redeployment and leaving vacant positions unfilled, the company said in an email to AFP.

"With 787 and 747 development efforts completing and disruption substantially decreasing, we require fewer resources," the company said.

"We will assess employment needs continuously and may need to hire in some areas to ensure we maintain critical skills. We continue to explore all options to lessen the use of layoffs," it said.

The workforce reductions will occur in the Seattle region of Washington state, where the Chicago-based company has its primary aircraft plants.

The job cuts primarily will affect work in post-assembly modification activities on the 787, the cutting-edge jetliner that has been grounded worldwide since mid-January due to a battery problem, and on the 747 long-haul aircraft.

The activities, which Boeing calls "change incorporation and refurbishment," come during the development phase of new airplanes.

Airplanes that are not part of flight testing undergo "change incorporation," meaning they are configured to conform with the standards established as part of the effort to certify the airworthiness of the aircraft.

Airplanes used in test flights are refurbished after they complete the flight-test activities.

Boeing noted it had already redeployed more than 500 employees since the beginning of 2013.

Boeing delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways in September 2011.

Lufthansa took delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental, an elongated version of the 747 wide-body aircraft, in May 2012.