Travel: Airlines devastated by coronavirus
Major airlines cut flights this week as the coronavirus crisis caused a dire plunge in passenger travel, said Chris Isidore in CNNBusiness.com. Delta and American reduced flights, following the lead of United and JetBlue; Delta said it “will slash its international flights by between 20 percent and 25 percent and trim domestic flights by 10 percent to 15 percent.” United president Scott Kirby called the current situation “far worse than the 40 percent drop in demand following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” Taking into account cancellations, United’s bookings have fallen 70 percent. Delta’s CEO said that bookings could fall further, and warned that if things get worse, “we can go deeper.”
Boeing: New chief says company was too greedy
Boeing’s new CEO, David Calhoun, sharply criticized his predecessor, largely “laying the blame for the company’s 737 Max crisis” at his feet, said Natalie Kitroeff and David Gelles in The New York Times. Before becoming CEO, Calhoun had “vigorously defended” Dennis Muilenburg. But last week he savaged Muilenburg for his focus on financial performance, saying Muilenburg “ran over the rainbow for the pot of gold.” Boeing’s board had “never seriously questioned that strategy” because the company “was enjoying its best run in years.” Calhoun insisted Boeing could fix itself. “We have a backup plan,” he said. “I am the backup plan.”
Antitrust: Senators urge scrutiny of Google
Senators of both parties took aim at Google in a push for more vigorous antitrust enforcement, said Adi Robertson in TheVerge.com. At an antitrust hearing this week, senators questioned if Google engaged in “self-preferencing,” a tactic in which a company “uses dominance in one area to privilege its other services.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) introduced a bill to limit “exclusionary conduct,” and Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) “urged Attorney General William Barr to include search in a Google antitrust investigation.”
Unions: Former UAW head charged
“Federal prosecutors have charged Gary Jones, the former head of the United Auto Workers, in a corruption probe” of the union, said Eric Lawrence and John Wisely in the Detroit Free Press. Jones resigned last year after federal papers in a related case implicated him in a scheme to embezzle money that was spent “on meals, cigars, and other lavish goodies.” The scandal has already ensnared other union officials, with 13 people pleading guilty since 2017.