The coronavirus pandemic is greatly impacting the economy as states from coast-to-coast shut down to limit the spread. While some states are beginning to lift restrictions, there is much uncertainty as to what the COVID-19 strain will look like in the coming months.
As a result, there are a lot of questions about the summer season and what the tourism industry will look like. Due to the nature of the disease, airplanes are going to be a highly-sensitive area when it comes to the coronavirus with the close nature of the seats and the conjestion that occurs in airports. This will play a major impact in the amount of travelers over the summer, which is why Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun believes that at least one airline will meet its match this year. In an interview on NBC's Today, Calhoun said it's "likely" one of the major airlines will have to shut down with the industry in decline. “I don’t want to get too predictive on that subject, but yes, most likely,” Calhoun said when asked about if some companies may face the decision of closing up. “You know, something will happen when September comes around.”
Calhoun did not name any specific airline when stating that. In the interview, he went on to say that he doesn't expect the industry to get back to its normal standard even in September. “Traffic levels will not be back to 100 percent. They won’t even be back to 25 percent,” said Calhoun in regards to a timetable. “Maybe by the end of the year we approach 50 percent. So there will definitely be adjustments that will be have to be made on the part of the airlines.”
Back in April, United Airlines found itself in some hot water when the company was sued for refusing to issue refunds on flights impacted by the coronavirus. The report by TMZ shared an account by one customer, Jacob Rudolph, who reported that he had spent $1,500 on tickets but was not refunded his money. He said, instead, the airline offered him travel vouchers, which he says did not serve any purpose as the economy was struggling and unemployment reached a high. He then filed a class-action lawsuit. In his claim, he notes that this is even more unacceptable because the company will reportedly receive a bail-out of about $58 billion as part of the $2 trillion relief package.