Let me start by saying thank you for the way you all have responded during the COVID-19 crisis – staying focused on protecting the health of one another and supporting our customers, worldwide. This has enabled us to serve our great customers in their time of need, including the military and cargo operators shipping critical supplies around the world.
As this pandemic continues to advance, our understanding of its impact on our industry and our business has also evolved. The deep contraction of commercial aviation is unprecedented, affecting every customer worldwide. Global traffic is expected to be down approximately 80% in the second quarter when compared to the start of the pandemic’s effect in China in early February. Our aircraft manufacturers have announced reduced production schedules that will extend into 2021 and beyond reacting to the projected prolonged recovery.
To protect our business, we have responded with difficult cost-cutting actions over the last two months. Unfortunately, more is required as we scale the business to the realities of our commercial market.
We are developing our plan for permanent reductions to our global employee base that we anticipate will bring our total reductions this year to as much as 25% (including both voluntary and involuntary actions already announced). In GE’s earnings call last week, we shared that Aviation is developing $1 billion of cost actions and $2 billion of cash actions in 2020, which includes these anticipated reductions.
These plans, which we expect will be ready over the coming months, are part of a comprehensive strategy we are developing for resizing the business consistent with the forecast of our commercial market. While extremely difficult, I am confident this is the required response to the continued contraction of the industry, and its protracted recovery. I am equally confident that the industry will recover over time and that we will be positioned to win.
Thank you for your resolve and determination during these trying times. And most importantly, thank you for supporting one another. Please know we are using the best possible resources to understand this pandemic and its impact on our business while plotting our path forward protecting our people, our customers and our business. We are one team and together we will come out of this with a strong affirmation of our purpose and a spirit to succeed.
Thank you for all that you do.
*Once our plans are ready, we will consult with employees and/or their representatives as required in accordance with applicable laws before those plans are finalized or implemented.