Boeing books its first profit since the pandemic on the back of 737 MAX deliveries

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Boeing also said it continues to expect first delivery of the 777x wide-body aircraft in late 2023 – it is currently progressing through a comprehensive flight test program. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: US plane-maker Boeing posted its first quarterly profit in almost two years as deliveries of its 737 MAX aircraft accelerated. The company said it still expects global air passenger traffic to return to 2019 levels in 2023 to 2024.

Boeing’s core operating profit in the second quarter stood at $755 million, compared to a loss of $3.32 billion, a year earlier.

Boeing delivered 47 737 MAX airplanes in the second quarter, representing about 60 per cent of its total deliveries in the period. Since getting the regulatory go-ahead late last year from various governments, Boeing has delivered more than 130 737 MAX aircraft and airlines have returned more than 190 previously grounded airplanes to service.

“We expect demand for narrow-body aircraft to recover faster, as evidenced by our year to date orders for 737 Max airplanes and demand for wide body aircraft to remain challenged for a longer period,” said Dave Calhoun, Boeing CEO, during a post-earnings call.

UAE-based budget carrier flydubai is among the biggest customers of the MAX programme. The airline recently reached an agreement with Boeing to cut the number of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft it will take delivery of by 65.

The move was announced after flydubai conducted a “review of its fleet plans… following the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing dynamics of the airline’s route structure”

In June, aircraft leasing firm Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said it would acquire 15 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The order was valued at about $1.8 billion (Dh6.6 billion) at aircraft list prices.

Boeing also said it continues to expect first delivery of the 777x wide-body aircraft in late 2023 – it is currently progressing through a comprehensive flight test program.

Dubai’s Emirates airline was scheduled to receive the first Boeing 777X aircraft deliveries in 2020 but was subsequently postponed to 2022 and later to 2023. During an online event in May, Emirates President Tim Clark expressed his annoyance with the delays and said the plane-maker should “get back to what they were really good at.”