Boeing cuts thousands of jobs to retain price competitiveness
Employees are pictured near Boeing aircraft as a Boeing 737 MAX returns from a flight test at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington January 29, 2016

Boeing said it will cut as many as 4,000 jobs in its commercial airplanes division in the US by the middle of the year as competition becomes harder in the aviation industry.

As many as 1,600 positions in the commercial airplanes division will be eliminated through voluntary layoffs, a Boeing spokesperson told Reuters.

The job cuts include the elimination of hundreds of executive and managerial positions. The company will also leave thousands of positions unfilled, but insisted there is no employment reduction target.

"While there is no employment reduction target, the more we can control costs as a whole the less impact there will be to employment," spokesman Doug Alder said.

The aviation major also said an additional 10 percent cut will be rolled out in the test and evaluation division.

However, the Seattle Times reported the job cuts at Boeing will be wider than those officially announced by the company.

The actual job cuts at Boeing through the year could touch 8,000, the daily reported citing an internal document.

Boeing chief executive Ray Conner had warned in February that job cuts were necessary to "win in the market, fund our growth and operate as a healthy business."

Pushed to the wall

Conner said in a recent webcast the company was in dire need of cutting costs to make the airplane prices competitive.

"Their biggest weapon that they're using in the competitions today is price ... They are attacking us with price in every single campaign. And as a result of that, you know, we're being pushed to the wall," Conner told employees, according to the Seattle Times.

European rival Airbus inched ahead of Boeing in terms of future orders, spurred by its fuel-efficient A320neo family of planes.

While Boeing's airplane deliveries in 2015 stood at 762 planes, accounting for $125 billion, Airbus had 635 deliveries that pulled in $$91.6 billion.

However, as of January, Airbus was far ahead of Boeing with 57 percent market share in terms of orders placed.