Boeing CEO predicts coronavirus pandemic will claim a major U.S. airline. He didn't name names


With anemic passenger counts and no signs travel will rebound quickly from the coronavirus pandemic, airlines are fighting for their financial lives.



a large body of water: Airlines around the world are parking planes at airports and storage facilities as the coronavirus pandemic to continues to decimate the industry. Scroll on to get an idea of just how many aircraft are being mothballed.


© Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images
Airlines around the world are parking planes at airports and storage facilities as the coronavirus pandemic to continues to decimate the industry. Scroll on to get an idea of just how many aircraft are being mothballed.

They’re looking everywhere but the couch cushions to raise badly needed cash and the threat looms of major layoffs this fall.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun thinks one major U.S. carrier won’t survive.

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Calhoun, who replaced the plane maker’s longtime CEO in January in the wake of the prolonged 737 Max crisis, made the prediction to NBC “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie.

Guthrie, in an interview scheduled to air on the network Tuesday, asked Calhoun if “there might be a major U.S. carrier that just has to go out of business?”

“Yes, most likely,” Calhoun said.

He didn’t name names or define “major” airline in the 22-second snippet NBC shared ahead of the full interview.

Calhoun told Guthrie passenger traffic levels will not be back to 100% by this fall, when payroll protection for employees under the CARES Act runs out. Airlines have said they will have to cut payroll costs to survive if business doesn’t rebound by then.

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

EXCLUSIVE: @SavannahGuthrie speaks with Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun about the future of the company, the coronavirus pandemic & more.

Tomorrow on @TODAYshow

GUTHRIE: Do you think there might be a major U.S. carrier that just has to go out of business?

CALHOUN: Yes, most likely. pic.twitter.com/ef6PRSDBay

In his short time as Boeing CEO, Calhoun has been known for being outspoken. In a candid interview with The New York Times published in early March, he sharply criticized his predecessor, Dennis Muilenburg, and blamed him for the costly 737 Max crisis. (Calhoun was a member of Boeing’s board when Muilenburg was CEO.) He later apologized.  


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