Boeing Has Lost $3.5 Billion So Far This Year

Boeing today revealed its third-quarter results. The figures show that the company has made a loss of $3.502 billion in the first nine months of the year. However, the majority of this is made up of the results of previous quarters.

Boeing 737 MAX 7
Boeing today released its third-quarter results showing a $3.5 billion loss so far this year. Photo: Getty Images

All of the major aircraft manufacturers have seen their financials take a hit from the current situation. Airlines around the world have been looking to defer deliveries. After all, why take new aircraft when the ones you have aren’t flying. However, Boeing has also had to deal with the impact of the ongoing 737 MAX grounding.

Net loss of $3.5 billion

According to Boeing’s latest figures today, the company has made a total net loss of $3.502 billion so far this year. However, only $466 million (13%) of that loss came from the third quarter. This compares to a $374 million profit this time last year and $7,036 million in 2018.

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A significant source of the losses currently being experienced by Boeing is to do with its commercial aircraft deliveries. The present climate has dealt with the American manufacturing giant a double blow. Firstly, its narrowbody product, the 737 MAX, has been grounded with no deliveries possible since March 2019. However, the current pandemic also means that airlines aren’t taking the remainder of Boeing’s products in the quantities expected.

737 MAX production
Approximately 450 MAX aircraft are thought to be awaiting delivery. Photo: Getty Images

Let’s put this into perspective. In the first nine months of 2018, Boeing delivered 568 commercial aircraft to customers worldwide. With the impact of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, this dropped by over half to 301. However, when you add in the pandemic’s effect, Boeing has so far delivered just 98 aircraft in the first nine months of 2020.

Commenting on the results, Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun said,

“The global pandemic continued to add pressure to our business this quarter, and we’re aligning to this new reality by closely managing our liquidity and transforming our enterprise to be sharper, more resilient and more sustainable for the long term…”

Return of the MAX?

There will be small comfort to Boeing because progress is finally being made regarding returning the 737 MAX to service. Since the aircraft was grounded almost 20 months ago, Boeing has completed 1400 test and check flights of the type. This equates to over 3,000 hours of flights.

Boeing, 777X, Testing Program
The airline’s 777X program was also dealt with a delay earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images

Recently, delegations from major aviation authorities have themselves test flown the aircraft. The latest input from these authorities seems relatively positive. Indeed, some United States airlines are now targeting a return to service by the aircraft before the end of the year. Ryanair, a significant 737 customer, is currently expecting its first 737 MAX deliveries in early 2021.

What do you make of Boeing’s results? Will things improve once the MAX is ungrounded? Let us know what you think and why in the comment section!