Boeing to delay 777X again as it posts record annual loss By Reuters

© Reuters. Boeing facilities are seen in Los Angeles, California

By Eric M. Johnson and Ankit Ajmera

(Reuters) – Boeing (NYSE:) Co posted a record $12 billion annual loss on Wednesday as it delayed its all-new 777X jet again and booked a $6.5 billion charge for the program.

The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated a drop in demand for the industry’s largest jetliners, with airline customers shunning deliveries of planes due international travel restrictions, hurting cash flow at the U.S. planemaker.

Boeing said it expects the 777X, a larger version of the 777 mini-jumbo, to enter service by late 2023, delaying the jet’s launch for the third time and booking a $6.5 billion pre-tax charge.

The company has been developing the widebody jet with the goal of releasing it in 2022, already two years later than planned.

A historic slump in air travel has also hurt shipments of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners to airlines, causing the aircraft to pile up in dozens, further weighing on company which already has a stored inventory of about 450 737 MAX jets.

Boeing said it expects to resume the shipments of its wide-body 787 Dreamliners in 2021 as air travel recovers.

Deliveries of the 787s slumped nearly 70% to 53 planes in 2020 and are not expected to recover to 2019 levels until at least 2024, according to analysts.

Boeing also said it delivered an additional 13 737 MAX airplanes in January so far from its stored inventory, adding to the 27 aircraft it shipped in December after the U.S. cleared the jet to fly again following a 20-month ban.

The company’s net loss rose to $8.44 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.01 billion a year earlier, taking its full-year loss to a record $11.94 billion.

Revenue fell 15% to $15.30 billion in the quarter.

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