All Nippon Airlines, one of the three operators of Boeing’s grounded Dreamliner 787s, projected it will lose 1.4 billion yen ($15.2 million) because of the plane’s battery issues.
ANA operated 17 planes before an exploding battery forced the airline to ground its fleet. In January, this led to 459 domestic and international flight cancellations, and officials have no guess as to when they will be able to resume 787 service. Revenue forecasts for 2013 remain unchanged, however.
On Jan. 16, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive that grounded all 787s in operation.
The only U.S. operator with 787s in its fleet, United, took delivery of six 787s throughout the year, commencing its first commercial flights in early November. It has seven more planes on order. United officials haven’t commented on potential losses tied to the 787.
The manufacturer at the heart of this saga, Boeing, finished the fourth quarter with revenues of $22.3 billion, a record the company attributes to increased airplane deliveries. More than 600 planes were delivered in 2012, including the first 787 Dreamliners.
Plane backlog for the commercial airlines segment ended the year at $319 billion, with 394 net orders booked during the quarter. There are close to 4,400 planes on order.
At Boeing, officials are concentrating on resolving the 787 battery issues, and while production continues on the planes, the company is no longer making deliveries. It has been working with the FAA throughout its investigation, and Jim McNerney, Boeing’s president and chief executive officer, said the company’s first priority is to return the planes to safety. But he also pointed to Boeing’s record results and its determination to continue the growth trend.
"Strong fourth-quarter operating performance capped a year of significant growth and solid execution, driving higher earnings and cash flow for our company," McNerney said in a statement. "In a year of considerable achievement, Boeing was the commercial aviation market leader for both orders and deliveries.”
Boeing expects to achieve between $82 billion and $85 billion in revenue in 2013, assuming no significant financial impact from the FAA’s investigation. The company expects to deliver up to 645 planes in 2013, including 60 787s, accounting for revenue of between $51 billion and $53 billion. - Jon Ross