Boeing adapts to new realities of commercial air travel post-COVID-19 with safe travel initiative

Following yesterday’s (Thursday 14 May) news that Boeing is launching a Confident Travel Initiative to prepare commercial aviation for a post-COVID-19 world;

Nicolas Jouan, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on Boeing’s initiative:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the air travel industry, wiping out passenger travel almost overnight with travel restrictions put in place all around the world. In order for air travel to restart, aviation will have to face complex dilemmas such as the impossibility to maintain social distancing in confined airframes or longer border controls for international travels. Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative is therefore an effort of adaptation to the new realities of the commercial air travel market.

“Boeing’s approach so far has been to privilege individual initiative over state financial help. The company did not tap in the CARES Act US$17bn package intended to support “businesses critical to maintaining national security” and widely interpreted as tailor-made for Boeing at the time. Instead, the plane maker decided to suspend dividend, cut workforce by 10%, slash production of its main commercial platforms (B737 MAX halted, B787 halved), and raise US$25bn in bonds. CEO Dave Calhoun explained a few days before the CARES Act that Boeing will always refuse governmental help if it opens the door to federal involvement in the company’s strategy. The Confident Travel Initiative is therefore merely another step towards a changed air travel industry.”

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