General Electric is curtailing the use of private jets for corporate travel as the industrial giant looks for ways to cut billions in costs. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that GE big wigs will fly commercial.
GE, which makes industrial gear including jet engines, is tightening its belt across the board. The decision about the private fleet was reported by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
The move is part of a previously announced plan by GE (GE) to cut $2 billion in costs by the end of 2018, according to the company. As part of that effort, starting this week, “we are reducing the Corporate Air Transport (CAT) services and will use charter companies as needed,” a spokeswoman told Fortune via e-mail.
Many companies, including GE, mandate use of private jets for CEO travel, citing security concerns. As part of GE’s negotiations in moving its corporate headquarters from Fairfield, Conn. to Boston, the company initially asked the state to put a helipad near GE’s new South Boston headquarters. In February, GE dropped that request, according to The Boston Globe. GE execs indicated that the use of Logan Airport, a few miles away, was fine for their needs.
In addition, the Journal reported that GE had asked the state for hangar space at Hanscom Field, an airport west of the city, for six business jets.
The cost cutting will go far beyond travel. GE’s new CEO John Flannery, who assumed that role on August 1, has also reportedly told insiders that there will be job cuts, including at the Boston headquarters.
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The company has also backed off plans to build its own data centers to run Predix, GE’s industrial cloud software, and will instead run it in Amazon (AMZN) Web Services and Microsoft (MSFT) Azure data centers. And, instead of offering broad-based cloud software, GE will focus Predix on a handful of key vertical industries.