U.S. plane maker Boeing posted a second-quarter loss of US$2.92 billion mainly caused by the grounding of the B737 MAX 8 following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, claiming
But there is another newcomer worrying the management, producing more cost.
Boeing’s financial deficit announced last week is the highest ever in a single quarter. In parallel with the figures’ presentation, the management officially confirmed that the company has set
aside US$4.9 billion after taxes payable to MAX clients as compensation for the operational downtime of the aircraft causing thousands of flight cancellations and delayed deliveries.
And another announcement was of interest: the U.S. plane maker finally agreed to grant compensation payments in the region of 100 million euros to the bereaved families. This had been preceded by hefty protests of relatives and dependents of the victims.
However, far higher are the costs resulting from the grounding of the B737 MAX 8. In the first six months, total Boeing deliveries dropped 37 percent, totaling 239 aircraft. The decline mainly affects the MAX 8 variant.
777X maiden flight delayed
Part of their summer cleanup was the management’s official confirmation that the timeframe for the launching flight of the 777X, a new long-haul plane standing on their sales list, had been pushed back because of ongoing turbine problems. According to plans, the first and largest variant of the 777X series, the B777-9, was supposed to first take to the skies on June 26. However, the maiden flight was canceled due to ongoing technical shortcomings of the General Electric GE9X engine that Boeing selected for powering the new jetliner. According to Flight Global, components showed premature deterioration during the test program.
Despite the program’s irksome setback, GE’s VP Commercial Engines Bill Fitzgerald remains confident that the GE9X will get green light by Washington’s FAA in fall and conduct its first flight before the end of this year.
Lufthansa is not amused
Mainly affected by the delay is launch customer Lufthansa that firmly ordered 20 B777-9s and signed a letter of intent for another 14 aircraft of this very cargo-friendly aircraft, offering ample space in the lower deck compartments for shipments.
LH intended to operate the enlarged Triple Seven by the end of March 2020, when the summer schedule begins. Due to the ongoing engine problems and the lengthy testing and certification programs following their elimination, it is highly unlikely that this date can be met. Similarly hit are other B777-9X customers, among them Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Emirates, and British Airways.
Airbus remains tight lipped but capitalizes on Boeing’s woes
While Boeing is weakening, archrival Airbus is likely to take the pole as the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer again for the first time since 2011. According to Reuters, the European aircraft manufacturer delivered 389 jetliners in the first six months of this year. That's a y-o-y increase of 28 percent.
The European aircraft manufacturer denied commenting on the current problems of its U.S. competitor.