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Boeing CEO: Travel Demand Recovery Surpasses Expectations

Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing, expressed optimism regarding the recovery of travel demand, which he believes is stronger than anticipated. He noted that there is considerable pent-up demand for passenger traffic, tourism, and business travel as economies gradually reopen and travel restrictions ease.

Calhoun highlighted that Boeing’s order books and demand for proposals to meet this increased demand are at levels he hasn’t seen in his career. Despite concerns of a looming recession in some sectors, he stated that these worries are not significantly affecting the aviation industry. The primary challenge the industry faces is how to restore the resilience of the supply chain that was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the current surge in demand.

Boeing delivered 35 planes in August, a slight decrease from the 43 aircraft delivered in July. Both Boeing and its competitor, Airbus, have reported that supply chain constraints are limiting their ability to increase production.

Regarding China, Calhoun expressed optimism and mentioned the need for more aircraft to meet the country’s growing demand for air travel. He hopes that geopolitical concerns surrounding China will ease over time.

Regarding competition from China’s domestic jet, the C919 produced by Comac, Calhoun believes it will take a significant amount of time before it becomes a global competitor to Boeing or Airbus. Nevertheless, he views increased competition positively, given the robust and growing aviation market, and believes that having multiple competitors can benefit the industry in the long run.