May 7, 2020

GE Aviation, a top manufacturer of jet and turboprop engines and components, recently announced plans to reduce its global employee base by up to 25% in response to the global COVID-19 crisis.

In a letter to its employees, GE Aviation President and CEO David Joyce said these reductions are permanent and include both voluntary and involuntary actions.

“As this pandemic continues to advance, our understanding of its impact on our industry and our business has also evolved. The deep contraction of commercial aviation is unprecedented, affecting every customer worldwide,” wrote Joyce.

In late March, GE Aviation began temporary layoffs affecting 50% of its U.S. maintenance, repair and overhaul employees for 90 days, cancelled salaried merit increases and implemented a hiring freeze.

Spirit AeroSystems, the world’s largest non-OEM maker of aerostructures for commercial and defense aircraft, also announced layoffs recently. This action is mostly due to decreased demand from airliner manufacturers. About 1,450 hourly and salaried employees at the Wichita, KS location will be affected. Meanwhile, approximately 700 employees will be transferred to a temporary project to manufacture medical devices to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom Gentile, president and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, is optimistic overall, stating in a company release, “I remain confident in the future of the aviation industry and believe in our ability as a company to weather this pandemic and emerge stronger.”