“We remained focused on the health of our employees and communities while proactively taking action to navigate the unprecedented commercial market impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in a statement. “We’re working closely with our customers, suppliers and global partners to manage the challenges to our industry, bridge to recovery and rebuild to be stronger on the other side.”
Boeing stock was up slightly during pre-market trading.
And 60 Boeing aircraft orders were canceled in last month, adding to the 150 orders canceled in March, 108 in April, and 18 more in May.
Boeing’s customer base, airlines, have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. The nosedive in demand for air travel has forced carriers to move thousands of jets into storage, leaving the airlines to bleed tens of millions of dollars every day with no end in sight.
That’s left little appetite for buying new jets from aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, based in Washington, and Europe’s Airbus.
“The reality is the pandemic’s impact on the aviation sector continues to be severe,” Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO, said in a separate letter to employees Wednesday. “While there have been some encouraging signs, we estimate it will take around three years to return to 2019 passenger levels.”
Boeing still has more than 4,500 orders in its backlog — enough to keep its factories working for years to come. But the June results mean Boeing has 843 canceled or uncertain orders in 2020, compared to only 59 new orders.
To help ease the financial pressure, Calhoun said the company has temporarily stopped paying investor dividends, halted its stock buyback program, cut spending and costs, and taken on $25 billion in debt.
Though, not all of Boeing’s aircraft sales issues were pandemic related: The company is still in the early stages of resuming production of its beleaguered 737 Max jets. The 737s, which were once Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, remain grounded after faulty software on the jets was linked to two fatal crashes.
Boeing said Wednesday it has “made steady progress toward he safe return to service of the 737, including completion of FAA certification flight tests” last quarter.