Boeing 737 Max

Boeing is setting aside $4.9 billion to cover the costs of grounding its 737 Max model.

Regulators around the world blocked airlines from operating the 737 Max after a crash in Indonesia in October and Ethiopia in March killed 346 people.

The $4.9bn hit is expected to wipe out Boeing’s profits when it announces its quarterly results next week.

Boeing chairman and chief executive Dennis Muilenburg, said: “This is a defining moment for Boeing. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the flight crews and passengers who fly on our airplanes.

“The Max grounding presents significant headwinds and the financial impact recognised this quarter reflects the current challenges and helps to address future financial risks.”

The majority of the money will be used to compensate its customers for flight suspensions and delayed deliveries on new aircraft. Earlier this week, Ryanair warned it would have to cut flights this winter and next summer as it awaits delivery of 58 new 737 Max aircraft.

Boeing is currently working with investigators and regulators on the model’s control system with a view to issuing a software update before it is allowed to fly again. The manufacturer expects to see the 737 Max return to the runway in the final three months of the year.