Boeing takes $4.9 bln charge related to 737 MAX

A Boeing 777-200 airliner. Some Boeing 777s and Boeing 737s have computers that could be susceptible to interference from cell phones and WiFi signals

A Boeing 777-200 airliner. Some Boeing 777s and Boeing 737s have computers that could be susceptible to interference from cell phones and WiFi signals

The company said it's assuming that approval of the plane's "return to service in the US and other jurisdictions begins early in the fourth quarter" of this year.

The charges will be reflected in its full second-quarter earnings release on 24 July, which will discuss the company's financial outlook and the impact of the 737 Max grounding.

"We remain focused on safely returning the 737 MAX to service", said Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg. That estimated expense has grown by an additional $1.7 billion, primarily because of a "longer than expected reduction in the production rate", the company said. Boeing is still working on fixing flight-control software that appeared to play a role in crashes that killed 346 people off the coast of Indonesia and in Ethiopia.

"This is a defining moment for Boeing".

With the timing of the MAX' return-to-service as yet uncertain, Southwest considers the extension of planned flights using those aircraft to be a proactive move. The second-quarter financial results will further assume a gradual increase in the 737 production rate from 42 per month to 57 per month in 2020, and that airplanes produced during the grounding and included within inventory will be delivered over several quarters following return to service. "The FAA will lift the aircraft's prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so". Examples of forward-looking statements include statements relating to our future financial condition and operating results, as well as any other statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact.

The earnings announcement followed another statement from Boeing this week, which said the company had funnelled $50 million of the pledged $100 million to relief for families of the victims.

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The suit claims that "Boeing and Southwest ... had an unwritten but strictly-adhered-to agreement: in exchange for its otherwise economically irrational backstopping of Boeing, Southwest would get early access to new 737 models, input into Boeing's design process, and the lowest price on all 737 aircraft ..."

But those donations have not silenced critics of the company, including from Paul Njoroge who castigated the company as greedy and reckless before a congressional panel on Wednesday.

Boeing did not specify which airlines would be receiving what compensation. A single sensor on the outside of the plane was used by this software, which was implicated in both deadly crashes.

Pilots have said they were not adequately trained on the MCAS system and that it was not disclosed to them.

WestJet, which owns 13 Boeing Max planes, accounting for seven per cent of its fleet, is just one of many airlines around the world struggling to re-accommodate guests in light of the ongoing grounding of the plane.

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