Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has reported a 21 per cent decrease in core operating earnings for the first quarter, though it admits it does not know the full impact of the 737 Max grounding.
Revenue for the company was down 2 per cent to nearly US$23 billion (£18 billion), reflecting Boeing’s slow-down on deliveries and production of the 737 Max, which remains grounded while a software update is tested and installed.
The 737 Max was involved in two fatal crashes, with investigators saying the pilots struggled to regain control after the aircraft’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) pushed the nose of the aeroplanes down in error.
Boeing says its previous guidance for 2019 does not reflect the 737 Max issues and will release new guidance at a further date. It claims that “due to the uncertainty of the timing and conditions surrounding return to service of the 737 Max fleet”, it cannot assess the impact of the grounding.
Chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg commented: “Across the company, we are focused on safety, returning the 737 Max to service and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public. As we work through this challenging time for our customers, stakeholders and the company, our attention remains on driving excellence in quality and performance and running a healthy sustained growth business built on strong, long-term fundamentals.”