Boeing Co. plans to cut jobs in its commercial airplane division, the company’s largest business, as part of cost reductions intended to improve competitiveness.

The planemaker will first seek to trim executive and managerial positions, Ray Conner, chief executive of the Boeing unit, told employees Wednesday in a webcast. Involuntary cuts may be necessary as a last resort in addition to attrition and voluntary departures, he said.

Conner didn’t specify how many jobs the company is seeking to eliminate. Boeing faces tough competition from Airbus Group SE even as economic turmoil threatens sales in key markets such as China.

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