Aviation company Boeing has posted its first annual loss since 1997, due to concerns over the 737 MAX plane, losing AUD$28billion.
Boeing has struggled to restore public confidence and recover from the biggest crisis in company history, has halted production of the 737 MAX, which was ground in March 2019 due to two deadly crashes.
The company is immersed in compensation talks with airline customers and dealing with lawsuits from victims’ families and a criminal probe.
Deliveries of hundreds of jets remain frozen while Boeing updates the flight control system and software to address issues involved in both crashes.
President and CEO David Calhoun said he believes Boeing can win regulatory approval for the planes to fly again by mid-year.
Costs related to the 737 MAX grounding reached US$14.6b in 2019 and the planemaker warned of another US$4b in charges in 2020 due to the expense of slowly restarting production. Boeing had estimated a US$9.2b price tag for the MAX fallout in the third quarter.
The amount does not include potential settlements or damages from more than 100 lawsuits the company faces from victims’ families in both crashes, which together killed 346 people. Boeing is also the target of a US criminal investigation into matters related to the 737 MAX.