Boeing has said it delay ramping up the production of its grounded 737 MAX planes after reporting a worse than expected second quarter loss.
The aerospace giant said it will gradually increase manufacturing to 31 planes a month by 2022 – a year’s delay from its previously announced plans.
Governments around the world have introduced lockdowns and travel quarantines to stem the spread of coronavirus, denting air travel demand and forcing airlines to delay acceptance of new aircraft deliveries.
The Chicago-headquartered company said it will also cut production of its wide-body 787 Dreamliner and 777 jets as long-haul travel demand is expected to remain subdued.
Earlier this week, airline trade body International Air Transport Association said it did not expect passenger volumes to recover to its previous highs until 2024.
Boeing, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, reported a loss of $2.4bn (£1.82bn) as well as a 25% drop in revenue to $11.8bn (£8.96) for the second quarter.
America’s largest exporter said it would reduce production of its Dreamliners to just six jets a month by next year – down from a record monthly rate of 14 planes only a year ago.
Dave Calhoun, who took over as chief executive earlier this year, told employees: “Regretfully, the prolonged impact of COVID-19 causing further reductions in our production rates and lower demand for commercial services means we’ll have to further assess the size of our workforce.
“This is difficult news, and I know it adds uncertainty during an already challenging time. We will try to limit the impact on our people as much as possible going forward.”
The company also said it will stop production of its 747 jumbo jets after some airlines chose to drop the iconic aircraft from their fleets due to high running costs as well as carbon emissions.
Earlier this month, British Airways said it will not fly its 747s anymore, almost three years ahead of its original plan to retire the fleet.
In May, Boeing was forced to restructure and announced that 12,000 jobs would be cut in the US, due to the slowdown in the aviation market.
The American manufacturer is also grappling with a 16-month grounding order for its 737 MAX jets by aviation authorities around the world after two fatal crashes.
After several delays, the US Federal Aviation Administration gave Boeing the the green light in June to begin key certification test flights.
Boeing said it currently has some 450 737 MAX aircrafts parked in storage that it intends to deliver in one year, after the aircraft has gained approval from authorities.