United reports loss on $200m hit from Boeing grounding

Published : 17 Apr 2024 10:05 PM

United Airlines reported a first-quarter loss Tuesday due to the temporary grounding of some Boeing jets, as it announced plans to lease Airbus planes in light of delayed Boeing deliveries.

The roughly three-week grounding of the 737 MAX 9 in January resulted in a $200 million hit to results, leading to a quarterly loss of $124 million.

Revenues rose 10 percent to $12.5 billion.

The major US carrier was impacted more than rivals by the MAX 9 grounding, which followed a January emergency landing of an Alaska Airlines flight after a panel on the fuselage blew out midair.

Boeing is expected to pay compensation to airlines, but United's press release didn't mention such payments.

United said it enjoyed a "strong" operational performance in the period, while adding that the demand environment remains "strong."

But pointing to "the 737 MAX 9 grounding and the FAA's announced significant production capacity constraints," United now expects just 61 narrow-body aircraft in 2024, down from the January estimate of 101.

United said it also had signed a letter of intent with two lessors to lease 35 new single-aisle Airbus A321neos in 2026, 2027.

Shares rose 4.7 percent in after-hours trading.