Boeing Sees Profits Shrink In Q3 As 787 Issues Drag On

Boeing has seen its profits sink in the third quarter. For Q2, the manufacturer posted its first profit in almost two years, clocking in at $755 million. This has fallen to just $59 million in the third quarter of the year. Despite this, the figure is still a profit and the second one that the company has posted in the past two years.

Boeing, 737 MAX, 777X
Boeing posted its second quarter of profit in a row. Photo: Getty Images

The past couple of years have been tough on Boeing. First, the American aerospace giant had to deal with the 737 MAX grounding. As things were looking up for the MAX, other areas began to suffer. 787 Dreamliner deliveries have been on pause for much of the past year, and the 777X program has suffered delays. As such, a second consecutive month in profit will be seen as a positive sign for the company.

737 MAX deliveries help the company

Deliveries of the Boeing 737 MAX have been gathering pace, and deliveries of these jets have helped significantly boost Boeing’s month-to-month finances. The company delivered 85 commercial jets in Q3, 62 of these coming from the 737 MAX family. This is the highest number of MAX jets provided by the company since the type’s initial grounding.

Boeing is currently producing 19 737 MAX jets per month, which it hopes to boost to 31 by early 2022. Since returning to service, MAX operators have completed over 500,000 flight hours (equivalent to 57.04 years) across more than 206,000 flight hours.

Boeing, 737 MAX, Malta Air
With the return of the MAX, Boeing’s deliveries have shot up despite ongoing 787 issues. Photo: Getty Images

787 still lagging behind

The Boeing 787 was the company’s primary revenue stream from commercial sales while the MAX was grounded. However, now the MAX is back, the 787 is facing its own problems. Due to production anomalies, the aircraft is currently not being delivered. In the past year, just a handful of aircraft were delivered, mainly in Q2.

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As things stand, the company has dropped its manufacturing rate to two aircraft a month while deliveries remain on pause. Commenting on the continued 787 issues, the manufacturer’s CEO Dave Calhoun said,

“While we never want to disappoint or cause delays for our customers, quality and safety always come first – and I am proud of our team for the detailed and rigorous work they’re completing to ensure we meet the highest standards, while communicating transparently with our regulators, customers and suppliers.

ANA, Boring 787-9, Delivery
Boeing 787 deliveries have been on pause for much of the past year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Calhoun added,

“Although this effort lowered revenue in the quarter and drives increased expenses, these actions are essential to bolstering the long-term health of the program and are preparing us for sustained growth and success as market demand returns.”

In addition to continued work on the 787 issues, Boeing continues its work seeking to certify the 737 MAX 7, the MAX 10, and the Boeing 777X. Calhoun also commented that the company was evaluating when to release a freighter version of the 777X and preparing the initial foundations of its next commercial aircraft program.

What do you make of Boeing’s Q3 commercial performance? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!