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Boeing reports its first annual loss in more than two decades

A Boeing 737 Max aircraft sits on the tarmac at Boeing's 737 Max production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. December 16, 2019.
Reuters/Lindsey Wasson
Crisis of its own making.
By Natasha Frost
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Boeing posted its first annual loss since 1997, with a per-share loss of $2.33 in the last three months of 2019. Revenue plunged 37% to $17.9 billion in the final quarter. The company is restricting production of its 787 craft.

The company is ensnared in a crisis of global proportions, after nearly 350 people were killed in the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets in 2018 and 2019. The 737 factory has since been temporarily shut down, while a new CEO, Dave Calhoun, has been brought in to steer the company away from further wreckage.

Boeing now estimates total costs from the catastrophe will exceed $18 billion, including more than $8 billion compensation paid out to airlines and other customers, approximately double its estimates from just three months ago. Shutting down the factory, meanwhile, is likely to cost about $4 billion.

In an on-camera interview with CNBC this morning, Calhoun confirmed that the company still had faith in the Max and believed that it was already among the safest planes in the world. He could not give a firm deadline for when it would return to the skies, stressing that it’s up to Federal Aviation Administration head Steve Dickson. “I do not, and will not, control this timeline,” he said.

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