As stock prices tumbled and more airlines parked empty jetliners the third week of March 2020, Boeing officials announced they were seeking a minimum of $60 billion in access to public and private liquidity, including loan guarantees, for the aerospace manufacturing industry.
“This will be one of the most important ways for airlines, airports, suppliers, and manufacturers to bridge to recovery,” Boeing management stated. “Funds would support the health of the broader aviation industry, because much of any liquidity support to Boeing will be used for payments to suppliers to maintain the health of the supply chain.”
Reiterating the company’s positive long-term outlook of the industry, Boeing’s stance is these measures are needed to manage the pressure on the aviation sector and the economy until global passenger traffic resumes to normal levels.
“We appreciate the support of the President and the Administration for the 2.5 million jobs and 17,000 suppliers that Boeing relies on to remain the number one U.S. exporter, and we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress as they consider legislation and the appropriate policies.”
Boeing is directing all employees who can perform their work from home to telecommute until further notice. The company is continuing production with enhanced cleaning procedures in work spaces, common areas, and on high-touch surfaces.
On March 9, 2020, Boeing revealed an employee at its Everett, Washington facility had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was put in quarantine while receiving treatment, and as a precaution, coworkers were asked to self-quarantine and self-monitor.
Airbus officials announced the company continues to closely monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 virus across the globe and is constantly assessing the situation, the impact on employees, customers, suppliers, and the business.
In early February, it closed its Tianjin Final Assembly Line facility while Airbus China followed Chinese government requirements for staff to work from home. On Feb. 11, 2020, Chinese authorities let Airbus China restart operations at Tianjin, applying health and safety measures.
On March 12, 2020, Airbus confirmed an employee at its site near Madrid, Spain, had tested positive for COVID-19 and was receiving medical attention, with co-workers asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
Following the implementation of measures in France and Spain to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbus paused production and assembly activities at its French and Spanish sites for the rest of this week. Airbus officials said they were working with customers and suppliers to minimize the impact of this decision on their operations.
Officials from aerospace structures, systems, and MRO supplier Triumph Group announced initiatives to save $75 million by reducing overhead, travel, corporate events, and other expenses – and by furloughing indirect staff and temporary workers. Triumph factories remain operational, and the company has business continuity plans at all sites to sustain operations.
Triumph officials support OEM and airline discussions with the U.S. government to sustain the aviation industry, its workforce, and its suppliers.
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.
To reduce the chance of transmission or infection from COVID-19, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. officials announced there wouldn’t be an event or press conference on the day of the maiden flight for the company's SpaceJet M90 Flight Test Vehicle 10. Reuters reports the first certification test flight of the SpaceJet March 18.
Reuters reported March 18, 2020, that Textron Aviation, maker of Cessna and Beechcraft airplanes, Bell helicopters, and flight simulators, was furloughing 7,000 or more workers in the U.S. from March 23 to May 29 as concerns about the broader effects of the coronavirus spread.
The Trump administration planned to ask Congress for $50 billion in secured loans to U.S. airlines to address the financial impact of the coronavirus.
A White House spokesperson said Trump “told the airlines that they are an essential part of our daily lives and our economy, and this nation will be there to support them.”
The administration, as part of its $1 trillion stimulus and rescue proposal, seeks $150 billion for secured lending or loan guarantees to aid severely distressed sectors of the economy and $300 billion in small business interruption loans.
Officials have said that could include aviation manufacturing.