Boeing’s Ability to Finance the Next Airliner

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By Vincent Valery


March 1, 2021, © Leeham News: The combination of the 737 MAX crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic led Boeing to lose $12.5bn over the 2019-2020 period. Boeing Commercial Aviation (BCA) lost $20.5bn during those two years, compared with a $7.8bn operating profit in 2018. Revenues at the division fell from $60.7bn in 2018 to $16.2bn in 2020.

The severe difficulties at BCA led Boeing to issue record amounts of debt. Net debt (subtracting cash and short-term investments) increased from $5.2bn to $38bn between the end of 2018 and 2020. Boeing issued another $9bn in debt in early February to refinance a portion of this debt.

As the commercial aviation ecosystem recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing's financial situation should improve. However, the OEM will have to deal with the sizable debt load accumulated during the twin 737 MAX and COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

LNA analyzes Boeing's financial situation, including the OEM's ability to finance a future aircraft program.

  • A strained balance sheet;
  • Two healthy products and a weak one;
  • Post COVID-19 recovery prospects for BCA;
  • Hard choices to finance a new aircraft program.

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