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Boeing CEO ‘hopeful’ aircraft demand starts to recover in second half of 2021

Dave Calhoun, Chairman of Boeing.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun on Wednesday said he was “hopeful” that demand for new aircraft, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, would start rebounding in the second half of next year.

Cancellations of Boeing planes are outpacing new orders this year as airlines reel from the impact of the virus and the company’s key 737 Max remains grounded. The company posted a $2.4 billion loss in the second quarter of the year. It is also planning to reduce output and warned about the potential for more job cuts.

“There is a customer calling us every day with a desire to want to defer and to deal with the difficult environments that they are dealing with,” Calhoun said in an interview CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

Calhoun said he expects an uneven recovery from the pandemic for airlines around the world and that carriers that emerge healthy might want to gain an advantage over competitors with newer planes, driving demand.

“China, Europe seem to have a little more control over their environments than the U.S. does at the moment,” Calhoun said.” “It’ll happen and I believe somewhere in, depending on a vaccine and the success and distribution of a vaccine, somewhere in the second half of next year I’m hopeful that this worm turns.”

Boeing shares were down more than 3% on Wednesday morning.

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