Boeing posts first profit in almost two years

Boeing is currently building 16 737 MAX jets per month.
Boeing is currently building 16 737 MAX jets per month.PHOTO: AFP

CHICAGO (REUTERS) - Boeing on Wednesday posted its first profit in almost two years, as deliveries of its best-selling 737 MAX jets to airlines gained traction amid a sharp rebound in travel bookings following an increase in global Covid-19 vaccinations.

The 737 MAX is integral to Boeing's financial recovery, as the US planemaker scrambles to recoup billions of dollars in lost sales from the pandemic, and deals with production-related structural defects of its bigger, more profitable 787 planes.

Chief executive officer David Calhoun said the company now plans to keep staffing levels stable at around 140,000 employees, after previously targeting a reduction to 130,000 by the end of 2021.

Boeing said it is currently building 16 737 MAX jets per month. The company has said it would lift the jet's output to 31 a month by early 2022.

Boeing's core operating profit was US$755 million in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of US$3.32 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose 44 per cent to about US$17 billion.

Analysts on average expected Boeing to report a quarterly loss of US$454.8 million on revenue of US$16.54 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.