Aviation

Boeing reveals billion-dollar cost blowout from 737 MAX crisis

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has lifted the lid on the financial hit it has taken in its first quarterly earnings report since the grounding of its 737 MAX planes.

Boeing reported a profit of $3 billion for the first three months of 2019 – down 13.2 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The decline was in large part due to an increase of $1.4 billion in costs to produce aircraft in the 737 program.

Earlier this month, the company announced it would reduce its manufacturing output for the 737 MAX aircraft in order to focus its attention on fixing the anti-stall software that has been implicated in two fatal crashes involving Lion Air and Ethiopia Airlines.

Boeing’s quarterly revenue dipped 1.9 per cent to $32.6 billion, with commercial aircraft revenue falling 8.7 per cent to $16.8 billion.

The company also withdrew its full-year earnings guidance for 2019 “due to the uncertainty of the timing and conditions surrounding return to service of the 737 MAX fleet”, with a new guidance to be issued “at a future date”.

Boeing chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg, said: “Across the company, we are focused on safety, returning the 737 MAX to service, and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public.

“As we work through this challenging time for our customers, stakeholders and the company, our attention remains on driving excellence in quality and performance and running a healthy sustained growth business built on strong, long-term fundamentals.”

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