Boeing posted a $3.8 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2021, occasioned by suspended deliveries of the 787 due to quality problems, that led to $3.8 billion in one-time expenses associated with compensating airlines for delayed deliveries and more costly production processes.
Revenues fell 3.3% to $14.8 billion, with operating cash flows of $0.7 billion.
Commercial Airplanes Q4 revenue increased slightly to $4.8 billion primarily driven by higher 737 deliveries. Commercial Airplanes secured orders for 164 737 MAX and 24 freighter aircraft. Commercial Airplanes delivered 99 airplanes during the quarter and backlog included over 4,200 airplanes valued at $297 billion.
787 program recorded $3.5 billion pre-tax non-cash charge; focused on actions required to resume deliveries. In a positive, though, Boeing has resumed deliveries of 737 MAX, which was grounded for 20 months following two deadly crashes.
Since the FAA’s approval to return the 737 MAX to operations in November 2020, over 300,000 revenue flights have been completed, and the reliability of the 737 MAX fleet remains above 99% (as of January 24, 2022). The 737 program is currently producing at a rate of 26 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.
The company now anticipates 787 abnormal costs will increase to approximately $2 billion, with most being incurred by the end of 2023, including $285 million recorded in the quarter.
Boeing said it was working with US air safety regulators on the 787 but did not offer a timetable for resuming deliveries. It is currently producing the jet “at a very low rate.”