Boeing reported a weaker drop in earnings and revenue than analysts expected for the second quarter, but said on Wednesday it was close to restarting deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft and on track to end the year with more cash. entering the business than out of it.
The company said it earned $160 million in the quarter, down from $567 million in the same period last year, on nearly $16.7 billion in revenue, down 2 percent from last year. The company’s free cash flow, a closely watched measure of financial health, was negative $182 million in the second quarter, but Boeing said it was ready to report positive cash flow for the full year.
The announcement came after a banner week in which Boeing announced the sale of nearly 200 commercial aircraft during an international airshow.
The company is “building momentum on our turnaround,” Dave Calhoun, Boeing’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.
During the second quarter of this year, Boeing reached its goal of increasing production of the 737 Max, its flagship commercial aircraft, to 31 planes per month. Boeing had been producing as many as 52 Max models per month until the plane was involved in two fatal crashes in late 2018 and early 2019. Those crashes, in which 346 people died, led to a global ban on the plane that lasted from Since March 2019 through most of 2020. The Max was then allowed to fly again on the condition that Boeing made certain corrections to the plane.
Since then, Boeing’s jet backlog has picked up significantly, and the Max has flown tens of thousands of flights and spent more than 1.5 million hours in the air, according to the company. Last week, Boeing announced it had sold more than 185 of the planes to a handful of customers, including Delta Air Lines, which placed an order for 100 of the plane’s largest variant, the Max 10. That’s based on orders. of 233 Max. Boeing registered until June this year.
But while the single-aisle Max has enjoyed a strong recovery over the past year, another Boeing commercial jet has been sidelined. Deliveries of the twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner have been on hold for more than a year amid quality issues, but the company said it is close to reaching an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to allow it to start shipping the plane again.
“Our 787 crew is in the final stages of preparing to restart deliveries,” Calhoun said in a note to employees.
In May, Lufthansa said it would buy seven Dreamliners, breaking a month-long sales lean period for the plane. Last week, Boeing announced additional orders for five Dreamliners from AerCap, an airline leasing company, and four from Azerbaijan Airlines.
The delivery freeze had hit Boeing customers. Earlier this year, for example, American Airlines said it had to drop several international routes from its summer schedule because it had planned to use that plane to carry them. An American executive said last week that the airline now expects to take delivery of two Dreamliners next month.
Before the pandemic, Boeing was producing 14 of the planes per month, but production had fallen amid the recent pause. The company said Wednesday that it expected to eventually go back to producing five Dreamliners per month and eventually absorb $2 billion in “abnormal costs” for the program, including $283 million in the second quarter.