Boeing has pared back the number of 737s it expects to deliver this year amid a quality issue involving pressure bulkheads, and lost $1.6 billion in the third-quarter of 2023.
The company expects to deliver 375-400 737s this year, down from a previous goal of 400-450, it said on 25 October as it released its third-quarter financial results.
“A supplier non-conformance was identified on the aft pressure bulkhead section of certain 737 airplanes,” it says. “Near-term deliveries and production will be impacted as the programme performs necessary inspections and rework.”
Boeing in August disclosed the problem, which involves holes in bulkheads supplied by Wichita’s Spirit AeroSystems. The aircraft manufacturer has said it must inspect hundreds of holes on more than 150 of its stored 737 Max jets, and complete required rework, to address the issue.
That problem aside, Boeing says it and suppliers are continuing ramping production and that the 737 line is on track to hit a rate of 38 jets monthly before year-end.
Boeing has also recently ramped its deliveries of 787s and still anticipates meeting its goal of handing over 70-80 this year. The company says its 787 line is transitioning from producing four to five of the widebody jets monthly, on the way to 10 monthly in 2025 or 2026.
Boeing delivered 371 aircraft through to September, including 286 737s, one 747, 17 767s, 17 777s and 50 787s, its data shows.
The company’s $1.6 billion third-quarter loss marks a year-over-year improvement from its $3.3 billion loss in the third quarter of 2022.
Boeing’s commercial aircraft division lost $678 million in the third quarter, compared with a $622 million loss one year earlier, but the segment’s revenue jumped 25% year on year to $7.9 billion.
The company’s Defense, Space & Security business lost $924 million in the third quarter, largely reflecting higher-than-expected manufacturing expenses related to developing the 747-based VC-25B presidential aircraft, to “resolution of supplier negotiations” and to losses from a satellite programme, it says.
Boeing Global Services, the company’s aftermarket support arm, turned a $784 million third-quarter profit, up 7% year-on-year.
The company landed orders for 321 new aircraft in the quarter, including orders from Ryanair for 150 737 Max, from United Airlines for 50 787s and from Saudia for 39 787s.
In recent days Boeing also marked the opening of a new engineering and technology centre in the Brazilian city of Sao Jose dos Campos, where it employs some 500 people. Boeing says the site is dedicated to “high-quality technology driven work to support Boeing in various areas of aviation engineering”, and that it will support programmes across the company.