Boeing posted its quarterly figures yesterday and they showed the commercial aircraft division having one of its worst quarters in decades.
As expected, it posted losses of $5.3 billion (with another $3 billion to come next quarter).
There were concerns that the company was showing a 50% reduction in its cash flow, which for a company of that size is worrying, if temporary.
More news was the change in management with Commercial Aircraft changing leadership – the man responsible for the MAX has moved on, suggesting yet more changes in process coming quickly, along with a change of attitude. It re-emphasised that Denis Muilenburg isn’t long for the top job too.
The biggest admission was that the 777-9 is indeed unlikely to have its first delivery until the end of March 2021, but there is the possibility it could be February that year.
All of this came the same day the Indonesia crash investigations report was published, lambasting the design and oversight of the 737MAX.
Boeing’s troubles are far from over, the MAX is unlikely to reach service again until next March, the company is under intense scrutiny and airlines are loosing patience – not that they’ll admit it or do anything about it.
Compensation claims are on going – until the MAX goes back into service the claims can’t really be finalised. Cash appears not to be the way forward. Airlines are expecting massive discounts on their orders, for some it’ll mean free aircraft.
One thing that has emerged from the whole thing is a cross-party support in Congress to prevent the FAA from ever having to close down during government shutdowns over budget fights. If it becomes law – and it looks like it will, it’ll be the only federal agency so protected.