Business & Finance

From the US to western Europe, the aviation industry took additional hits in the wake of last week's acts of terrorism:

• American and United, the two largest domestic carriers, announced 20,000 layoffs each, reducing their workforces by 14 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Both also reduced their flight schedules by 20 percent.

• British Airways, whose revenues depend heavily on transatlantic flights, announced 5,200 more layoffs on top of the 1,800 jobs cut earlier this month.

• Airbus Industrie, Boeing's leading rival, suspended a planned increase in production and said it expects to deliver 10 fewer passengers jets this year than previously scheduled.

Vodafone, the world's No. 1 mobile phone company, said it will pay $2.64 billion to raise its stake in Japan Telecom (JT) from 45 percent to 67 percent.The all-cash deal comes only four months after Vodafone bought out rival British Telecom's 20 percent ownership of JT.

The long-expected takeover by General Motors of South Korea's No. 2 automaker, the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co., is to take another step forward today with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Seoul. But GM apparently will commit to absorbing only parts of Daewoo's 16-plant network, and analysts said at least two more months of "due diligence" would be necessary before the $600 million deal becomes final.

The world's largest producer of zinc and lead, Pasminco Ltd., voluntarily placed itself in receivership to try to continue operations while whittling down a $1.3 billion debt. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia, but also has mines or smelters in Tennessee and the Netherlands.

Pabst, the US's fourth-largest brewer, is to close its only remaining plant today before shifting focus to the marketing of other brands, officials said. The move affects about 380 employees at Pabst's Fogelsville, Pa., facility.

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