Boeing announces first annual loss in over 20 years

Boeing announces first annual loss in over 20 years
Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded in March 2019 following the crash of two of the aircraft models. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Boeing Company announced in its annual figures on Wednesday that it suffered a net loss of €578 million ($636 million) in 2019.

This marks the first time in over twenty years that the aerospace giant has suffered an annual net loss, with the last time the company suffered such a loss being in 1997. Apart from 2019 and 1997, the only other years that Boeing has reported annual net losses were 1995 and 1946, RTBF reports.

The financial results of the year 2019 continue to be heavily impacted by the crisis around Boeing 737 MAX airliners, the report explains. All of the models were grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes of 737 MAX’s saw 346 people killed. Production of the MAX airliners was also halted.

The company now expects that the 737 MAX crisis will cost the airline €16.7 billion ($18.4), almost half of which would be used to compensate airlines that had to cancel thousands of flights due to the grounding of the aircraft.

“We recognise we have a lot of work to do,” said Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer, David Calhoun, in the company’s annual figures report.

“We are focused on returning the 737 MAX to service safely and restoring the long-standing trust that the Boeing brand represents with the flying public. Safety will underwrite every decision, every action and every step we take as we move forward,” Calhoun added.

Boeing hopes the 737 MAX will be flying again before the middle of 2020, while the Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday to say that the 737 MAX may make an earlier return.

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The announcement of the company’s net loss comes just as the Boeing 777 X aircraft, the largest twin-engine plane in the world, had its first successful test flight on Saturday. The first delivery of the 777 X is targeted for 2021, the airline confirms.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times

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