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Boeing sees US$12bn loss, delays 777X program

written by Hannah Dowling | January 28, 2021


Boeing has reported a record annual loss of US$12 billion, as well as a hefty US$6.5 billion hit on its 777X program, now delayed an additional three years.

The company’s net loss rose to US$8.44 billion in the fourth quarter ending 31 December, from US$1.01 billion a year earlier, taking its full-year loss to a record US$11.94 billion.

Meanwhile, revenue fell 15 per cent to US$15.3 billion in the quarter.

At the same time, the US planemaker said it now expects the 777X, a larger version of its 777 mini-jumbo, to enter service in late 2023, three years later than initially planned.

Boeing said the certification process on the 777X will now be longer and costlier than it anticipated, in light of the recent 737 MAX fiasco.

Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun said the manufacturer is also making “prudent design modifications” to the 777X, including hardware changes to the actuator control electronics, in response to current regulator expectations.


Calhoun stated the company has sufficient liquidity to manage the downturn, though appeared cautious of optimism surrounding vaccine distribution and any meaningful recovery in the air travel market prior to the summer season.

The combined forces of the COVID-induced slump in air travel as well as additional inspections for production faults in light of the 737 MAX has seen Boeing’s deliveries, a key source of cash inflow, take a hit.

The planemaker has an inventory of about 450 737 MAX jets to clear.

It comes following the announcement that both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had lifted their flight bans on the 737 MAX after months of recertification efforts.

The decisions follow that of overseas regulators in the US, Brazil and Canada.

Meanwhile, regulators in China, the first jurisdiction to ground the plane after the second fatal crash in March 2019 and a market that makes up about 25 per cent of all MAX sales, is yet to discuss when it may reinstate the aircraft for commercial use.


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