United Airlines Slashes Reliance on Boeing Planes After Reporting $124 Million Loss

By Madz Dizon

Apr 16, 2024 07:25 PM EDT

United Airlines Slashes Reliance on Boeing Planes After Reporting $124 Million Loss
A person walks past a Boeing 737 MAX 8 for United Airlines parked at Renton Municipal Airport adjacent to Boeing's factory in Renton, Washington, on January 25, 2024.
(Photo : JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

United Airlines announced a decrease in the number of planes it will be receiving from Boeing this year.

The airline attributed its first quarter losses to a series of unfortunate incidents associated with the manufacturer.

United Airlines' Profit Loss

United Airlines experienced a significant financial setback in the first quarter of the year, with a reported loss of $124 million.

Company executives attributed this loss to the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 9 aircrafts, which was prompted by an incident involving an Alaska Airlines Max jetliner in January.

During an earnings call today, the airline revealed that it has started leasing jets from rival Airbus to expand its fleet.

United Airlines has announced its intention to lease a total of 35 Airbus A321neos, with deliveries scheduled for 2026 and 2027. Boeing is currently facing heightened federal scrutiny.

In January, the airline announced its decision to remove Boeing's Max 10, which has not yet been certified, from its fleet plan.

The financial results indicated a sustained robustness in the demand for air travel, particularly in the United States and across the Atlantic. United predicts a stronger-than-anticipated profit for the second quarter.

Unfortunately, the company faced a setback in the first quarter due to the temporary unavailability of its 79 Max 9 aircraft for most of January.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the airline had to cancel a significant number of flights and make aircraft substitutions for several others. 

The company has revised its annual capital expenditure estimate, reducing it to $6.5 billion from approximately $9 billion.

READ NEXT: 940,000 Taxpayers May Receive Extra $932 Tax Refunds From IRS; Here's Why! 

United Airlines Pushes Back on Aircraft Plans Amid Boeing Planes Issues

United Airlines is currently undergoing a safety review by the Federal Aviation Administration, which has resulted in the delay of some of its planned growth.

A spokesperson informed CNBC earlier this month about the carrier's decision to delay its scheduled service between Newark, New Jersey, and Faro, Portugal, as well as the service between Tokyo and Cebu, Philippines.

Earlier this month, United Airlines made the decision to postpone its investor day, originally planned for May.

The reason behind this decision was to prioritize cooperation with the FAA in reviewing their safety protocols. United believed that holding an investor day centered around financial results during this time would not send the right message to their team.

According to AP News, the airline stated that it would have recorded a profit for the quarter if it hadn't been for the $200 million impact caused by the temporary grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 9 in January.

Following an incident during an Alaska Airlines flight where a door plug blew out, the FAA has decided to temporarily ground the affected planes.

This has caused a safety crisis for Boeing and has resulted in delays in delivering their planes to customers, including United, Southwest, and others.

READ MORE: Boeing Reaffirms 787 Dreamliner Safety Following Whistleblower Claims of Structural Flaws  

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