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Brooke Sutherland

Even This Former Elevator Maker Needs Fewer Floors

Raytheon's post-Covid future will feature more robots and not so many offices. It’s probably not alone.

The onetime owner of the Otis elevator company has a grim message for the commercial real estate industry. 

The onetime owner of the Otis elevator company has a grim message for the commercial real estate industry. 

Photographer: Suzanne Plunkett/Bloomberg

The future of work at Raytheon Technologies Corp. is going to mean fewer people in offices and more robots on the factory floor. 

The aerospace and defense giant on Tuesday reported third-quarter earnings and free cash flow that were better than analysts had expected, even as the recovery in the commercial side of its business continues at a snail’s pace. Raytheon reiterated its expectation that global air traffic won’t return to 2019 levels until at least 2023 — and that’s assuming the successful development and broad distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. “It's clearly not a V, all right? This is going to be a long, slow recovery,” Raytheon Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes said on a call with analysts to discuss the results. “We continue to focus on what we can control.” That means building on expected cost savings from the merger between United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon Co. completed earlier this year. And then some.