March 20 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has resigned from Boeing's board of directors after less than a year, apparently because the aerospace giant is asking for $60 billion in federal aid amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The U.S. airline industry has seen passenger demand plummet in recent weeks as the coronavirus disease has expanded worldwide and nations have temporarily closed their borders. Boeing, also a top defense contractor, said it needs the federal aid to stabilize its operations and those of companies in its supply chain.
In a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Boeing said Haley resigned Monday. She joined the board last April.
"As a matter of philosophical principle, she does not believe that the company should seek support from the federal government, and therefore decided to resign from the board," Boeing told the SEC.
Haley said in her resignation letter she understands Boeing still faces challenges related to the grounding of its 737 Max, but cannot support its decision to ask for public money.
"While I know cash is tight, that is equally true for numerous other industries and for millions of small businesses," Haley wrote. "I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position.
"I have long held strong convictions that this is not the role of government."
Haley served as President Donald Trump's chief ambassador to the United Nations for the first two years of his administration. Before that, she was governor of South Carolina for six years.
Boeing warned last month that short-term aircraft deliveries could be affected by the coronavirus outbreak, particularly due to an expected decline in demand in Asia.