airlines

Boeing CEO Says Pandemic Could Force a Major Airline Out of Business

The airline industry raked in record profits for a decade, due to lower jet fuel prices and consolidation through a series of mergers. That ended with the coronavirus pandemic

A file photo of an airport.
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The airline industry is having an "apocalyptic" moment that could force a major U.S. carrier out of business, said David Calhoun, president and CEO of Boeing, in an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's "TODAY" show on Tuesday morning.

"The threat to the airline industry is grave. There's no question about it. And apocalyptic does actually accurately describe the moment," Calhoun said of the impact of the coronavirus.

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The airline industry raked in record profits for a decade, due to lower jet fuel prices and consolidation through a series of mergers. That ended with the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the industry and has led to a 95 percent drop in air travel demand, NBC News reported.

"I don't want to get too predictive on that subject. But yes, most likely," Calhoun said when asked if he thought a major U.S. carrier would have to go out of business.

"Something will happen when September comes around. Traffic levels will not be back to 100 percent. They won't even be back to 25 percent. So there will definitely be adjustments that have to be made on the part of the airlines," Calhoun said.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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