Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Donald Trump furious and disappointed by the repeated setbacks of Boeing

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Zero. Boeing recorded zero aircraft orders in January 2020. Unheard of for more than half a century as the airline continues its descent into hell, undermined by the 737 MAX crisis. It has already cost him nearly $ 20 billion (18.3 billion euros). Its debt doubled in 2019 and will continue to grow as long as the aircraft are grounded. The company has secured $ 12 billion in bank lines of credit, all the more so that it must finalize the acquisition of the Brazilian Embraer ($ 4 billion). It has given up competing in a Pentagon tender to replace US nuclear missiles. One of the explanations is that it was necessary to advance 1.5 billion in cash. So close to bankruptcy? It is absolutely not American analysis.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The fall of Boeing, a revered company in the United States

Boeing's short-term rating has remained unchanged, which is very easily financed on the markets, while its share has certainly fallen by 20% since its highest in 2019, but it has doubled in three years. Boeing is worth $ 194 billion on the stock market. 40% more than the flamboyant Airbus. The United States is therefore not in the spirit of "We must save the Boeing soldier". He doesn't have to be saved as long as Wall Street trusts him. For now, the watchword is rather: "Save yourself." Knowing that Washington has no interest in weakening Boeing in its duopol with Airbus. Particularly because the Pentagon needs several military suppliers, alongside Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Politicians, starting with Donald Trump, are furious at a company that believed it could fall between the cracks after the double disaster of its 737 MAX. "I'm so disappointed with Boeing"Trump lamented in January at the Davos Forum, which also accuses the aircraft manufacturer of having sapped American growth in late 2019. A few days earlier, when the trade agreement with China was signed (on 15 January), the president had questioned the new boss of Boeing, David Calhoun: "You will straighten this out quickly, please. "

Enemies in a mess

Boeing has made a mess of its enemies in the United States: the pilots, furious at having been sent, without training, to control dangerous aircraft because there were savings to be made; airlines, which suffer losses and are disorganized; the families of the victims, led in particular by Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate (from 1996 to 2008), whose grand-niece was killed in the Ethiopian crash; the certification authority, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), which has been duped by Boeing to which it has delegated most of the certification for at least ten years. After the disasters, Boeing held documents for weeks before transmitting them to the FAA, which gave it an exceptional public admonition.

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