Boeing Reportedly Halts Hiring, Limits Travel and OT Due to Coronavirus

Boeing halts hiring, limits travel and overtime to preserve cash in the face of the coronavirus.
Publish date:

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report had halted hiring and is limiting travel and overtime to preserve cash due to the travel disruptions caused by the coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Three of the aerospace giant's workers have tested positive for the illness, the Journal said, citing a memo to Boeing employees.

Boeing was the Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performer on Wednesday, falling 13.4% to $200.06. The Dow sank 1,200 points after the World Health Organization called the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

Boeing shares were already sinking after Bloomberg reported that the company was planning to draw down the full amount of a $13.825 billion loan as the plane maker contends with the impact of the coronavirus on worldwide travel.

The Chicago-based company last month obtained the loan from a group of banks while it works to return the 737 MAX jetliner to service. The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.

Stocks were plummeting Wednesday as investors reacted to a lack of specifics from the Trump administration on plans to fight the coronavirus outbreak and the World Health Organization formerly declared the outbreak a pandemic.

The WHO generally defines a pandemic as a disease that has become widespread around the world.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said Wednesday.

The number of cases in the U.S. topped 1,000 and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said up to 70% of the population could get infected with the disease.

Merkel said that her government’s strategy was to slow down the contagion so as to avoid health-care providers becoming overwhelmed.