Wednesday 23 October 2019 1:27 pm

Boeing's profits slump 51 per cent after 737 Max ban

Boeing expects its 737 Max will return to the skies before the new year it said today, after revealing net earnings slumped 57 per cent in its third quarter.

Boeing attributed the fall in sales to the ban of the aircraft and a subsequent decline in sales.

Read more: Boeing regrets leaked 737 Max Whatsapp messages

Sales revenue dropped to $17.20bn (£13.36bn) in the three months to 30 September, compared to $22.46bn (£17.44bn) in 2018.

The company said in its trading update “that regulatory approval of the 737 MAX return to service begins in the fourth quarter of 2019”.

However, it is ultimately the decision of global aviation authorities as to when the planes can take to the skies again.

Beoing said: “European Aviation Safety AgencyBoeing has developed software and training updates for the 737 MAX and continues to work with the FAA and global civil aviation authorities to complete remaining steps toward certification and readiness for return to service.

“These regulatory authorities will determine the timing and conditions of return to service in each relevant jurisdiction.”

The aviation giant plans to increase the production rate of the 737 Max from 42 per month to 57 per month by late 2020.

Models of the 737 Max were grounded after Lion Air flight 610 crashed over Indonesia in October last year and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March.

It was reported yesterday that design troubles may have been linked to the Lion Air crash, which killed all 189 on board.

Read more: Design flaws linked to Lion Air crash, families of victims told

The Indonesian government reportedly shared a report into the details of the deadly crash with the families of victims, revealing that the Lion Air 737 MAX’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was based on incorrect assumptions.

A Boeing spokeswoman told Reuters: “As the report hasn’t been officially released by the authorities, it is premature for us to comment on its contents.”

Boeing shares are up 2.83 per cent to $348.39 in today’s trading.

City Index market analyst Ken Odeluga said: “Q3 results were unmistakably dire, including a second straight quarter of negative free cash flow, and reduced production schedules across models including the 737 MAX and 787.

“With the stock down 20 per cent already, this year, deeper downside was always going to be minimal from here.”