Boeing reports another big drop in deliveries in Q3

NEW YORK • Boeing's commercial plane deliveries dropped by two-thirds in the third quarter as the lengthy grounding of its top-selling 737 MAX continues to dent results, the company said on Tuesday.

The aerospace giant delivered 63 aircraft in its commercial programme in the three months ending Sept 30, down from 190 in the year-ago period, Boeing said in a statement.

The figures are the latest demonstration of the hit to the company's finances and prospects because of the MAX, which was taken out of service in mid-March following two deadly crashes that killed 346 people.

The benchmark is closely monitored by Wall Street as a sign of profitability because plane deliveries are closely tied to revenues.

Analysts are projecting much lower 2019 profits for Boeing, following a big drop in sales.

The grounding of the MAX prompted Boeing to trim its production of the plane and has forced it to store hundreds of new aircraft that cannot be delivered until the Federal Aviation Administration and international civil aviation regulators clear it for service.

Boeing delivered just five 737 planes during the latest quarter, down from 138 in the 2018 period. Most of the Boeing's other planes did not experience big swings.

For example, Boeing produced 35 of its 787 Dreamliner planes during the quarter, compared with 34 in the year-ago period.

Separately, American Airlines Group said yesterday it is extending cancellations of Boeing 737 MAX flights to Jan 15 as regulators continue to extensively review proposed software changes to the grounded plane.

The largest US airline, which had previously cancelled about 140 flights a day to Dec 3, said yesterday it expects to gradually resume MAX flights, starting on Jan 16.

American Airlines said it believes the software updates will lead to the Federal Aviation Administration's "recertification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020".

Among other US airlines that operate the MAX, Southwest Airlines has cancelled flights to Jan 5 and United Airlines, until Dec 19.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline 'Boeing reports another big drop in deliveries in Q3'. Print Edition | Subscribe