New York (AFP)

General Electric (GE) announced Monday that it will cut 10,000 additional jobs in its aviation division due to the Covid-19 pandemic which is wiping out air transport and the orders for the aircraft it manufactures.

These cuts will be made through voluntary departures and dry layoffs, and add to a first wave of 2,600 jobs lost in March, the American group said in a statement.

In total, GE will reduce the workforce in aviation by a quarter (25%), or 13,000 jobs.

This austerity cure, which concerns all geographic areas, reflects the bad patch that the entire aeronautical sector is going through.

The aircraft manufacturer Boeing announced last week the loss of 16,000 jobs, or 10% of its workforce in civil aircraft.

It also sharply reduced production of its 787 and 777 / 777X long-haul aircraft, while the date for resuming assembly of the 737 MAX flagship aircraft is still unknown.

Airbus for its part reduced its production to align it with the plunge of the date of commercial aircraft.

GE is directly affected by these decisions since it manufactures aircraft engines for Boeing and Airbus.

Global air traffic is expected to drop 80% in the second quarter compared to February, says GE.

"To preserve our activity, we have responded with difficult cost reduction measures in the past two months. Unfortunately, more is needed to align the activity with market realities", explains David Joyce, the boss of GE Aviation, in a message to 52,000 employees.

The layoffs are part of a $ 3 billion savings plan to be made this year.

Half of the employees in charge of maintenance and repairs in aviation are also unemployed for three months.

Hiring has also been frozen, while bonuses and bonuses promised to deserving workers have been canceled.

GE, which manufactures aircraft engines in a joint venture with French company Safran, CFM, saw revenues drop 8% to $ 20.52 billion in the first quarter.

Aviation division sales plunged 13% to $ 6.9 billion, while orders fell 14%.

The group, which warned in late April that the worst was yet to come, has yet to seek financial aid promised by the Trump administration to companies to protect jobs.

© 2020 AFP