Boeing to cut 48,000 jobs by 2000

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BOEING, the world's biggest jetmaker, blamed the Asian economic crisis for plans to cut 48,000 jobs by the end of 2000 and slow the production rate on its 747 aircraft line.

The Seattle-based manufacturer said it would reduce employment from its high of 238,000 people in June by 38,000 by the end of 1999 and another 10,000 in 2000. The cuts amount to a 20 per cent reduction in Boeing's workforce.

The company said it would reduce production of 747 jetliners from 3.5 to two planes per month late next year, and to just one per month in 2000 if market conditions fail to improve.

Domestic and international air traffic growth in many Asian markets has dropped significantly since the economic crisis hit, with most airlines reporting operating losses or significantly reduced profits. As a result, several customers have requested deliveries be deferred, Boeing said in a statement.