Business & Lobbying

Boeing chief: Major airline will ‘most likely’ fold in next few months

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun predicted Tuesday that at least one major airline will “most likely” go out of business after the summer. 

“Yes, most likely. You know, something will happen when September comes around,” Calhoun told NBC News Tuesday. 

Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe later offered a clarification to Calhoun’s comments, saying he was speaking to the “general uncertainty in the sector, not about any one particular airline.” 

Calhoun told NBC that passenger traffic is not expected to reach even a quarter of its previous levels by September, forcing airlines to make tough “adjustments.”

“Traffic levels will not be back to 100 percent,” Calhoun said. “They won’t even be back to 25 percent. Maybe by the end of the year we approach 50 percent. So there will definitely be adjustments that have to be made on the part of the airlines.”

Both Spirit and JetBlue last week reported that they have had more bookings for May than in April as a number of states begin to ease stay-at-home orders aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

The airline industry was one of the largest beneficiaries of the initial CARES Act, receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in aid from Congress.

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