The budget loss is monstrous but, for the first time since 2019, Boeing ended a quarter with a positive cash flow, among other things in advance of what is expected from the top.
The result is explained by the leap in deliveries of its 737 Max aircraft, following the decision of the world authorities to lift the ban, after the tragedy of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 which crashed in March 2019, after just six minutes from take-off: 157 people who lost their lives.
It was Sunday 10 March 2019, and it was also the second accident in less than six months involving the model of the American aerospace giant.
In October 2018, another Boeing 737 MAX 8 sank into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.
The Covid-19 pandemic, with the severe crisis of airlines that have seen their flights collapse due to the stop to travel and tourism in 2020, has complicated the picture in recent years.
The giant was also forced to halt deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners for much of 2021, due to some manufacturing defects.
That said, the return of the 737 Max allowed Boeing to close the year with sales and deliveries exceeding 340 units, compared to 157 units in 2020 (however less than the 611 aircraft delivered by the French Airbus in 2021, up by 8% compared to 2020).
Returning to the balance sheet, Boeing suffered a loss of $ 4.29 billion in the whole of 2021, the third consecutive loss on an annual basis, however much less than the deficit of $ 11.94 billion in 2020.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the net loss was $ 4.16 billion, less than half of the $ 8.44 billion lost in the same quarter a year earlier.
Revenue fell 3% to $ 14.79 billion, less than the $ 16.59 billion expected by the consensus.
Boeing also announced that it was hit by pre-tax charges worth $ 3.5 billion due to problems with its 787 Dreamliners. Model production problems have effectively forced the planes to the ground for most of the past 15 months.
But the cash flow was positive for the first time since 2019.