SYDNEY (AP) -- Boeing said Thursday it will close its engineering factory in Sydney and transfer the work of building rudders and other parts to another of its Australian plants in Melbourne.
Most of the 350 affected staff at the Sydney plant will be offered jobs in Melbourne but there will be some redundancies, said Boeing Co., the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined.
Mark Ross, managing director of Boeing Aerostructures Australia, said the two factories were underutilized.
"Each facility is at about half-capacity and it makes no business sense to carry duplicate overheads," Ross said in a statement. "We very much regret the impact on our staff, but the reality is that we need to improve our capability by consolidating our footprint. In such a global and competitive business, we need a sharper focus to succeed."
Production of components at the Sydney plant will be shifted to Melbourne over the next 30 months, with the plant closure set for 2012.
The Sydney facility makes rudders for the Boeing 777 aircraft, 747-8 wing leading edges and 737 ailerons, along with fins for missiles and other components.
Boeing has 3,300 workers at 28 sites in Australia, its largest staff outside of the United States.