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GE cuts aviation jobs, boosts production of COVID-19 medical equipment

General Electric will lay off about 2,600 employees, or 10% of the U.S. workers in its aviation business, a repercussion from the coronavirus crisis and a resulting slowdown in commercial air travel.

With much of travel halted in attempts to prevent the spread of the virus, airlines such as United and Delta have cut capacity by 60% and 70% respectively. That has prompted the staff reduction at GE Aviation, GE Chairman and CEO Larry Culp announced Monday.

“The aviation industry is feeling the impact of this global pandemic most acutely,” he said in a message to GE employees.

Other GE divisions are facing adjustments, too, Culp said. GE Healthcare is attempting to boost production of ventilators, patient monitors, mobile X-ray systems and other equipment needed to help diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients, he said. At the same time, GE Healthcare faces reduced demand for equipment used in elective procedures. “I know our business teams are working hard to understand our new realities,” Culp said.

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