Experts who testified to a state Senate Special Committee on Economic Recovery in late October said it will take years, not months, for the aerospace and airline markets to recover from financial blows this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The forecast is equally sober for Boeing, the state’s largest single employer, which is weathering various business threats including the grounding of its 737 fleet after a fatal crash. Boeing wound up announcing a transfer of 737 production from the Everett plant to South Carolina.
A spokesman for Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which employs 10,000 in Washington, estimated it will take four years for airlines to recover from greatly reduced corporate and personal travel due to the pandemic. The U.S. trade war with China also is a factor in greatly reduced income for Boeing. Its exports from Washington State this year are at $7.8 billion, down from $42 billion in 2018.