Boeing expects to cut as many as 12,000 jobs this year - some 5,000 more than the company had anticipated.

Updated 1995 employment forecasts revealed by Boeing show that more than half of the reductions will come from employees taking advantage of its one-time special retirement-incentive programme announced in April. A further 7,000 eligible employees have until 16 June to decide what to do.

Boeing chairman, Frank Shrontz says: "These additional job reductions are the results of efforts to trim the size of our non-manufacturing workforce, and improved processes to design and build aerospace products more efficiently".

Most of the additional 5,000 cuts are expected to occur at factories in the Seattle area. The total Boeing workforce has so far shrunk to 113,900 from 117,300 in January.

Shrontz believes that Boeing will maintain its world-airliner market lead, despite Airbus' claims that it is poised to capture 50% of new business.

"Airbus has always had ambitions to be a market leader: we think we have the resources to sustain market leadership at between 60% and 65%," says Shrontz.

Earlier this year, Airbus predicted that it would achieve a goal of capturing 50% of all ordered aircraft by "around the turn of the century".

Schrontz argues that the entry into service of the 777 in June, and the company's cost-cutting drive - designed to bring costs down by 25% and production cycle times down by half before 1998 - will assure Boeing's continued market dominance.

Source: Flight International