An employee works near a Boeing 737 Max aircraft at Boeing’s 737 Max production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. December 16, 2019.

Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

Boeing is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings before the market opens on Wednesday, as the company faces both coronavirus and the more than yearlong grounding of its best-selling plane, the 737 Max.

Wall Street expects the aircraft manufacturer to post a per-share loss of $1.61 and revenue of $17.30 billion, a nearly 25% drop on the year, based on Refinitiv estimates. 

Boeing is facing a dismal market for new planes as air travel demand plunges as the pandemic and measures to stop it from spreading keep travelers home. Air travel in the U.S. is down 95% from a year ago. Boeing’s CEO Dave Calhoun told shareholders on Monday it likely would take two or three years for travel demand to recover to 2019 levels, a sharp turnaround for an industry that just earlier this year was betting on continued growth. 

The grim outlook comes as Boeing is already grappling with the fallout of two crashes of its 737 Max that killed 346 people. The planes are still grounded more than a year after they were ordered out of the skies by federal regulators. Boeing is still working on a fix. Meanwhile, cancellations of the planes have piled up.

The company will hold an analyst call at 10:30 a.m. ET, when executives are expected to detail Boeing’s cost-cutting measures, aircraft production plan, and its expectations for raising additional liquidity.

Boeing has recently drawn down on a nearly $14 billion loan and sought $60 billion in government aid for itself and its supply chain, which includes General Electric and Spirit Aerosystems but Calhoun has balked at the possibility of providing the government an equity stake in return for federal aid. Boeing has recently offered employee buyouts and frozen hiring.

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