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Boeing to cut more than 2000 employees in Kansas facility

01-05-2012 16:15 BJT

Houston, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Boeing company, the U.S. aircraft company and the largest one in the world, on Wednesday announced that it plans to close its massive defense plant in Wichita, Kansas before the end of 2013.

"The decision to close our Wichita facility was difficult but ultimately was based on a thorough study of the current and future market environment and our ability to remain competitive while meeting our customers' needs with the best and most affordable solutions," said Mark Bass, vice president and general manager for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, or BDS' Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades division.

Boeing's announcement means that its 2,160 employees will lose their well-paying jobs at the Kansas facility, which is the base for Boeing company's Global Transport & Executive Systems business and its B-52 and 767 International Tanker programs. The facility also provides support for flight mission planning and integrated logistics.

According to Boeing's new plan, future aircraft maintenance, modification and support work will be placed at the Boeing facility in San Antonio, Texas while engineering work will be placed at the Boeing facility in Oklahoma City.

The main reason behind the closure of Wichita, Kansas facility, according to Boeing company, is the 500 billion dollars automatic, across-the-board defense budget cuts over the next 10 years."In this time of defense budget reductions, as well as shifting customer priorities, Boeing has decided to close its operations in Wichita to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and drive competitiveness," said Bass.

During the past five years, according to Boeing company, contracts in Wichita facility have matured, programs have come to a close or are winding down, and the facility does not have enough sustainable business on the horizon to create an affordable cost structure to maintain and win new business.

Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins released a statement criticizing closure of Boeing's facility in Wichita.

"The aviation industry is immensely important to the Kansas economy and vital to thousands of Kansans who make their living as technicians, suppliers, or employees of the aviation companies in our state," she said, adding that "it is a shame to see Boeing's 80 year relationship with Kansas sour this way".

Boeing company spent more than 3.2 billion dollars with approximately 475 Kansas suppliers in 2011, spanning its commercial and defense businesses, making it the fourth largest state in Boeing's supplier network.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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