Boeing Announces $355 Million Loss

Daniel Fowkes
25 Apr 2024
· Aircraft 
A Boeing 787-10 parked after completing its first ever flight

Boeing has reported a loss for its first quarter, which paints a bleak picture of the company’s position following an incredibly tough start to 2024.

A USD 355 million loss resulted from significant difficulties with the 737 MAX program. The loss was spurred by a 737-9 incident in the first week of the 2024 calendar year that resulted in a door being blown out of the aircraft.

This incident set the trend for Boeing’s first quarter and likely year as it grappled with the challenges. Since Boeing has faced significant pressure from regulators, airlines, shareholders and the general public over persistent quality slips that are present.

While publishing a significant loss, Boeing said that its focus remains on the safety and quality of its product. Ultimately, this has been an area of concern in recent years, and the manufacturer is hoping to rectify this.

For Boeing, the quarter wasn’t necessarily all doom and gloom; while filled with negatives, there were some above-expected results. Notably, the manufacturer saw a USD 3.9 billion cash burn, massively down from the forecasted USD 4.5 billion.

Times Are Tough

Boeing understands it’s fighting to turn around its fortunes and instil confidence in multiple parties. The last five to ten years have been far from optimal for the manufacturer, facing persistent quality issues across its aircraft problems.

However, the tough period extends beyond quality issues, with a knock-on effect on Boeing’s uncertified aircraft, airline customers, and more. Several leading aircraft still remain uncertified, and Boeing is unable to enter these jets into service because of its strict focus on operations.

In response to the most recent quality concerns, Boeing has also substantially lowered the output of its aircraft. This reduction, while a decision that’ll hopefully lead to improvements, hurts airline customers. These delays mean airlines can’t acquire the aircraft they desire on time.

Boeing, however, remained confident in its ability to turn its fortunes around during its first-quarter results. Several leadership changes are ongoing to change the culture.

Additionally, increased oversight from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has meant Boeing’s room for error has been significantly reduced. However, with all that being said, Boeing won’t be able to do the turnaround overnight. It’ll be a lengthy plan to ensure that long-term culture can see Boeing return to the heights it was once at.

Some Positives For Boeing Exist

Despite a lot of focus on the losses experienced at Boeing, the manufacturer still has one shining light across its business: backlog.

Boeing has continued to increase its backlog in the last five years. This means several aircraft families have been sold out for many years. The backlog stands at well over 5,000 aircraft and is expected to grow yearly.

While some aircraft types are selling well, equally, the planemaker faces fierce competition from Airbus. The European manufacturer is, in some sectors, outperforming Boeing for a host of reasons.

Looking ahead, Boeing will want to keep growing its backlog. Additionally, it’ll aim to ensure it has the processes set up to meet this demand and output. At its current rate, the output is too low to work through the backlog, and delays are piling on substantially.

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