MIAMI – Boeing has reported its Q3 2021 financial results with a revenue increase of US$15.3bn compared to US$14.39bn in Q3 2020. GAAP earnings from operations were US$329m compared to a loss of US$401m in 2020.

Highlights from the press release include:

  • Continued progress on global safe return to service of 737 MAX and focus on operational stability
  • Revenue of US$15.3bn, GAAP loss per share of (US$0.19) and core (non-GAAP) loss per share of (US$0.60)
  • Operating cash flow of (US$0.3)bn; cash and marketable securities of US$20.0bn
  • Commercial Airplanes backlog of US$290bn and added 93 net orders

Commercial Airplanes third-quarter revenue increased to US$4.5bn primarily driven by higher Boeing 737 deliveries. However, lower Boeing 787 deliveries partially offset this. Third-quarter operating margin improved to 15.5% primarily due to higher deliveries.

Boeing 737-MAX7 first flight Photo: Brandon Farris

MAX Happiness…

“Boeing has delivered more than 195 737 MAX aircraft, and airlines have returned more than 200 previously grounded airplanes to service,” the company says.

“Thirty-one airlines now operate the 737 MAX. The 737 program is currently producing at a rate of 19 per month and continues to progress towards a production rate of 31 per month in early 2022. The company is evaluating the timing of further rate increases.”

Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

…And Dreamliner Woes

Regarding the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing says that it continues to focus 787 production resources on conducting inspections and rework. It also is engaging in detailed discussions with the FAA regarding required actions for resuming delivery. The current 787 production rate is approximately two airplanes per month. The company expects to continue at this rate until deliveries resume and then return to five per month over time.

The low production rates and rework are expected to result in approximately US$1bn of abnormal costs, of which US$183m was recorded in the quarter.

Quality control issues of the 787 caused the company to suspend deliveries of the type over the past year.

CNBC notes that Boeing noted quality issues with seams on the fuselages of some of its 787s last year. “The problems resulted in inspections that prompted Boeing to suspend deliveries of the planes to airline customers, depriving the company of cash.”

After resuming deliveries earlier this year, Boeing halted them again in May for even more quality control and inspection issues. With around 100 Dreamliners in inventory, Boeing has reduced the production rate of the type to where it said it was producing fewer than five 787s a month.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Some Bright Spots

Commercial Airplanes secured orders for 70 737 MAX, 24 freighter, and 12 787 airplanes. Commercial Airplanes delivered 85 airplanes during the quarter. Backlog included over 4,100 airplanes valued at US$290bn.

“Our commercial market is showing improved signs of recovery with vaccine distribution and border protocols beginning to open,” CEO Dave Calhoun said in a staff note after results were released. “As demand returns, supply chain capacity and global trade will be key drivers of our industry and the global economy’s recovery.”

Featured image: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner White Tail. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways