Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said that he is confident that the aeronautics company will survive the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic to its finances, but it would take “a few years” for the company to get its balance sheet to where it was before the 737 Max crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.
As the pandemic continue to scourge many markets, especially the air travel industry, Boeing asks the U.S. government for at least $60 billion in government aid for itself and its suppliers. Lawmakers are expected to reach a deal on the appropriate market stimulus bill as they seek to assuage the effect of COVID-19, which has killed tens of thousands and infected more than 350,000 worldwide.
“The simpler, the shorter-term in nature, the better,” Calhoun said in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.
Calhoun noted that the company has at least $15 billion in liquidity and expressed his confidence that Boeing will eventually survive the meltdown. However, he said that credit markets need to open to help industries better recover from the pandemic.
The company, which is also facing a controversy that leads for its 737 Max being grounded, still continues to pay its employees and suppliers amid the government-issued order for people who are not considered frontliners in the battle against the virus to stay at home. A sudden drop in air travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic also has deferred orders from the company.
“If there is no government support and the credit markets don’t reopen, it will be fairly quick, but we can still make it to the other side,” Calhoun said when asked what the company’s cash burn rate is. “Now, if this goes on for eight months, probably not.”
Calhoun said that the aviation and airline industry is now “at the point of the spear” of the virus and its impact and appealed that governmental aid would “keep our industry and people warm so when the recovery comes, we’re ready to go.”