Boeing posts fourth straight quarterly loss as sales slump amid the pandemic

Boeing 2020 Loss Aircraft Deliveries

Boeing 2020 Loss Aircraft Deliveries

Sales dropped 29% to $14.1 billion.

Boeing Co. updated its jobs plan on the same day it reported a $449 million loss for the third quarter, a swing from the $1.17 billion it earned in the same period previous year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought air travel to a near halt, pushing major airlines to the brink of bankruptcy and forcing them to seek government aid, cut costs and defer aircraft deliveries - when Boeing gets paid most of the money for new jets.

() - Boeing (N:) reported its fourth straight quarterly loss on Wednesday as the coronavirus crisis and the 737 MAX jet grounding hurt sales, while reaffirming its expectation that USA deliveries of the aircraft would resume before year-end.

The Chicago-based planemaker lost $401 million, or an adjusted $1.39 per share, in the three months through September, better than the $2.52 loss that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating.

Earlier this month, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) declared the 737 MAX aircraft safe to fly, announcing that the grounded aircraft could return to the region's skies before the end of the year.

According to Calhoun, since the start of the pandemic, Boeing has raised liquidity, reduced spending, simplified reporting structures, and dramatically lowered commercial production rates.

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But the Boeing CEO expects a shift in sentiment in the latter half of 2020 due to the vaccine which, "by all accounts seems to be way ahead of where we imagined it would be", Calhoun told CNBC.

Earlier this year, Boeing targeted a 10% cut to its staff, which stood at 160,000 people at the start of the year.

Boeing has a total backlog of $393 billion, including more than 4,300 commercial planes.

Calhoun has emphasized that while Boeing faces a hard medium-term environment, it expects airline demand to eventually return and the company is well positioned in the defense and space business, which is steadier than commercial travel.

Boeing shares were plunged $2.64, or 1.7%, to $ early Wednesday trading. Boeing was criticized by members of Congress during hearings a year ago about the 737 Max.

This article was corrected at 08:43 a.m. ET because the original incorrectly said that the company was moving all assembly of the jet to North Carolina. The best-selling model in Boeing's history, the MAX was sidelined by regulators worldwide after two fatal crashes overseas raised concerns that new anti-stall software could interfere with takeoff in some cases.

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