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Boeing reports $1 billion hit from fallout over 737 Max crashes

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Boeing said Wednesday the global grounding of its Max fleet has seriously influenced its finances. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Boeing said Wednesday the global grounding of its Max fleet has seriously influenced its finances. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 24 (UPI) -- Boeing on Wednesday recalled its financial forecast for 2019 and said it will stop buying back shares as it works through issues related to the global grounding of its 737 Max aircraft.

The aerospace company said in an earnings call Wednesday it's committed to fixing problems with the Max fleet investigators believe played a factor in two deadly crashes since last fall. Boeing said fallout from the crashes have influenced its original 2019 forecast.

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"Due to the uncertainty of the timing and conditions surrounding return to service of the 737 Max fleet, new guidance will be issued at a future date," Boeing said.

The company said it's so far completed more than 135 test and production flights of updated software for the Boeing 737 Max. All three U.S. airlines that fly the Max 8 or 9 have said their planes won't return to the skies until at least this summer.

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"We are focused on safety, returning 737 Max to service and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public," Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said. "Our attention remains on driving excellence in quality and performance and running a healthy sustained growth business."

Regulators worldwide grounded the Max 8 in March after one of the planes crashed in Ethiopia -- just six months after another Max 8 crash in Indonesia. The crashes killed a combined 346 people. Preliminary investigations have found similarities between the two accidents.

Boeing said Wednesday production costs for the 737 have increased by about $1 billion due to fallout from the crashes. The company will soon to submit its fixes for the Max fleet to the Federal Aviation Administration, CNBC reported Wednesday.

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In its earnings call, Boeing said it presently has a backlog of 5,600 aircraft orders worth almost $400 billion -- a slight decline from the fourth quarter of last year, when the backlog involved 5,900 orders worth $412 billion.

Boeing said its cash flow fell in the first quarter 10 percent to $2.8 billion, down $1 billion from the same period last year but in line with analysts' projections. Shares of Being were down slightly as the market opened Wednesday.

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