Boeing offered its employees a voluntary departure plan that includes early retirements to compensate for the financial effects of the coronavirus epidemic crisis.

Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun detailed his plan in an internal memo to his employees on April 2, 2020. “It will take time for the aerospace industry to recover from the crisis,” Calhoun said, adding “it's important we start adjusting to our new reality now. “

The manufacturer recently announced the temporary suspension for at least fifteen days of production activities at its facilities in the Puget Sound area, near Seattle, due to the state of emergency declared in the state of Washington and to the “continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region.” 

In an effort to save cash, Boeing suspended the payments of dividends to its shareholders, froze overtime and suspended hiring. It also requested a financial assistance of at least $60 million from the federal government to deal with the pandemic, a measure supported by President Donald Trump. 

Boeing could be more vulnerable than its European counterpart Airbus to the industry crisis that resulted from the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic. In recent months, it already had to deal with the 737 MAX crisis, which affected its cash reserve. For now, the crisis cost at least $18.7 billion to the manufacturer between airline compensations, increased costs on the programs and the payment of employees despite the suspension of production in January 2020. 

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that the first certification flight of Boeing 737 MAX with the updated MCAS software could take place in a few weeks.