Boeing to axe more jobs after third-quarter loss due to pandemic and 737 Max crises

The company's revenue for the three months to September 30 fell 29 per cent to $14.1bn

EVERETT, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: The Boeing Airplanes factory where several models of its commercial aircraft, including the 787 Dreamliner, are produced is pictured on September 30, 2020 in Everett, Washington. According to the Wall Street Journal, Boeing will consolidate its 787 Dreamliner manufacturing to its South Carolina factory.   Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP
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Boeing expects to axe more jobs as the dual crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and the continued grounding of its 737 Max jet culminate in a third-quarter loss.

The US plane-maker reported a loss of $466 million in the three months to September 30, or 79 cents per share, compared with a profit of $1.25 billion or $2.05 per share in the same quarter last year, it said on Wednesday. Third-quarter revenue slumped 29 per cent year-on-year to $14.1bn.

The company will shed an additional 7,000 jobs through voluntary and involuntary layoffs as well as natural attrition through to the end of 2021. This will take the Boeing's total workforce to 130,000 by the end of 2021, down 19 per cent from about 160,000 employees at the start of 2020.

"The global pandemic continued to add pressure to our business this quarter, and we're aligning to this new reality by closely managing our liquidity and transforming our enterprise to be sharper, more resilient and more sustainable for the long term," Dave Calhoun, Boeing president and chief executive, said in a statement.

The plane maker's fourth consecutive quarterly loss comes as airline customers face mounting financial stress due to an unprecedented collapse in air travel demand and jet sales due to the pandemic.

Boeing reported an adjusted loss of of $1.39 a share, beating analyst expectations of an average shortfall of $2.08.

Boeing's reported an increase in cash outflows to $5.08bn during the third quarter, from $2.88bn in the same period a year ago.

Boeing ended the quarter with total consolidated debt of $6bn while cash in hand reached $27.1bn.

The company's commercial airplanes unit saw revenue plunge 56 per cent year-on-year to $3.59bn.

Boeing's defence, space and security division turned a profit of $628m, up 17 per cent from the prior-year period, despite a $67m charge on its KC-46 US Air Force refueling tanker programme.

"Despite the near-term headwinds, we remain confident in our long term future and are focused on sustaining critical investments in our business and the meaningful actions we are taking to strengthen our safety culture, improve transparency and rebuild trust," Mr Calhoun said.