ANKARA – US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his administration is planning to provide financial assistance to aviation company Boeing amid coronavirus pandemic and declining jet orders.
"Boeing got hit hard in many different ways," Trump said during press conference.
"We have to protect Boeing... We'll be helping Boeing," Trump added, confirming reports from Boeing that it was in talks with the US government regarding a short-term financial relief.
"Obviously when the airlines aren't doing well then Boeing is not going to be doing well. So, we'll be helping Boeing," Trump justified his move, not giving details about the relief package.
American airliners have knocked on the door of the federal government for USD50 billion in financial assistance for passenger airlines, along with USD8 billion for cargo airlines and USD10 billion for the nation's airports.
Decrease in orders
According to Eturbonews website, which provides global travel industry news, Boeing’s gross aircraft orders for 2019 slumped to an all-time low triggered largely by a decrease in orders for the 737 model.
Last year, Boeing received only 69 unit orders for the model, a steep drop of about 91.7 percent from the 837 orders received in 2018.
Its top-selling aircraft model was grounded worldwide after two crashes that cost hundreds of lives and hit the company nearly USD19 billion financially per its filings.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET-302 crashed on March 10 shortly after taking off from an Addis Ababa airport, killing all 157 onboard.
The model was also involved in an October 2018 crash outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. All 189 people on board Lion Air Flight JT610 were killed.
Many countries, including the US, Turkey, Russia and Iran, grounded the model over security concerns.
A preliminary congressional report released earlier this month by the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure accused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of "failing its duty to identify key safety problems and to ensure that they were adequately addressed during the certification process," calling the agency's review "grossly insufficient".
"The combination of these problems doomed the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights," said the investigative report.
Boeing has also been accused of lack of transparency. (Anadolu)