Boeing said Wednesday that delays in making and delivering its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet will cost the company about $1 billion, weighing the company down even as it benefits from a broad travel resurgence.
The company provided the estimate as part of its third-quarter earnings report, which showed that Boeing lost $132 million in the three months ending in September, a loss of 19 cents per share. Boeing earned $15.3 billion in revenue in the quarter, up about 8 percent from the same period last year and just below analyst expectations.
“Our commercial market is showing improved signs of recovery with vaccine distribution and border protocols beginning to open,” David Calhoun, Boeing’s chief executive, said in a letter to employees.
Quality concerns have dogged the Dreamliner for more than a year. Boeing had paused deliveries of the plane briefly last year and again in May. In July, it said that it was slowing production of the plane and, this month, Boeing suffered another setback when a supplier told the company that certain parts it provided were made with the wrong titanium alloy.
The company said it was continuing to carry out inspections and work on the plane in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and that it had cut production to about two Dreamliners per month. After deliveries start up again, Boeing expects to increase production to five per month.
“Although this effort lowered revenue in the quarter and drives increased expenses, these actions are essential to bolstering the long-term health of the program and are preparing us for sustained growth and success as market demand returns,” Mr. Calhoun said in his letter.
Of the estimated $1 billion cost from the delays, about $183 million was recorded in the third quarter of the year. The company weathered another $185 million hit from problems associated with its Starliner spacecraft.
Although the 787 program has been weighed down by quality issues, Boeing has benefited by the successful return of the 737 Max. A Max plane carrying 189 people crashed in Indonesia three years ago this Friday, killing everyone on board. A similar crash in Ethiopia months later killed 157 passengers and crew, leading to a 20-month global ban on the plane. The F.A.A. approved it for flight again last November, followed soon after by aviation authorities around the world.
Since then, the company has delivered 195 Max planes to customers and airlines have put another 200 jets back to work flying passengers. The plane has been used in more than 200,000 flights. Boeing said that it was on track to increase Max production to 31 jets per month in early 2022, up from a current rate of 19.
The families and friends of those killed in the crashes have called for stronger federal oversight over Boeing, including barring it from being able to certify its own planes through a heavily criticized program in which the F.A.A. delegates some authority to employees of the companies it oversees.
The return of the Max helped Boeing to achieve positive monthly sales from February through September. Boeing has delivered 241 airplanes to customers so far this year, up from 98 in the same period last year. More than 4,100 planes are still on order, at a value of about $290 billion, the company said.
Boeing’s airplane business brought in about $4.5 billion in revenue, with its defense, space and security business bringing in $6.6 billion and its services business bringing in $4.2 billion.