NEW YORK – Boeing head said that dividend recovery could take three to five years while the company slow recovery in air transport in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
CEO David Calhoun’s comment was a signal that paying down debt and maintaining Boeing’s supply chain were higher priorities than shareholder payments for the foreseeable future.
Calhoun offered a sober perspective on the short-term outlook for commercial air travel in the wake of the virus is expected to cost the airline industry an estimated turnover of 314 billion dollars in 2020, potentially knocking down some carriers.
“Based on what we know now, we anticipate that it will take two to three years for travel to return to 2019 levels and a few more years beyond that for long-term trend growth in industry is coming back, “said Calhoun.
Boeing announced earlier this month he would undertake a voluntary layoff plan. Sources told AFP that the company plans to cut its commercial airline workforce by 10 percent.
Even before COVID-19 exploded, Boeing was already under pressure after two crashes of his 737 MAX killed 346 people, causing its worldwide grounding since March 2019.
About $ 17 billion for Boeing has been included in the massive federal bailout bill approved in late March under the CARES law, which limits dividends and share buybacks for companies receiving aid. Boeing has not said with certainty whether it would accept federal assistance.
Families of MAX crash victims have asked the US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, to suspend funding to Boeing unless it meets strict security and governance standards, according to lawyers who represent the victims in lawsuits against Boeing.
The company also announced that he will resume manufacturing of the Widebody 787 aircraft at its plant in South Carolina, with new procedures implemented to combat COVID-19, including improved cleaning, voluntary temperature control and physical distancing policies.