Boeing Company yesterday (25 October) reported a loss of $1.64bn for Q3 2023 as it struggled with production delays and flaws in its bestselling 737 Max aircraft.

“Third quarter results were impacted by unfavourable defence performance and lower 737 deliveries,” Boeing said in a statement.

The US aerospace giant lowered its target of 737 production to between 375 and 400 planes in 2023, a decrease from a previous forecast of 400 to 450 aircraft.

Issues around improperly drilled holes in the fuselage – involving supplier Spirit AeroSystems – had previously delayed Boeing’s 737 production schedule.

Boeing’s total revenue for Q3 amounted to $18.1bn. The company’s shares fell by 2.5% to $177.32 following the results.

Presidential priorities

Boeing’s losses come after a surprise ramp-up of production in Q2 2023, when it posted an 18% increase in revenues from Q2 2022, according to GlobalData's filings database.

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By GlobalData

Since two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max in late 2018 and early 2019, Boeing has only turned a profit in one of its last nine quarters.

While the problem-plagued 737 has been Boeing’s main source of downturn, some have pointed to the distraction of an order placed by the White House.

The US Air Force has ordered two Boeing 747-8s to serve in the Air Force One presidential air fleet, with designation VC-25B.

Boeing reported a $482m loss on its Air Force One contract because of higher estimated manufacturing costs.

Such setbacks will not affect the performance of the aircraft, CEO David Calhoun said, but “any unplanned hurdles can introduce unrecoverable cost” in fixed-price contracts like the one Boeing agreed to for Air Force One.

Calhoun had previously said that Boeing “probably shouldn’t have taken” the deal to built two new Air Force One jets under the Trump administration in 2018, CNBC reported.

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