WASHINGTON: United Airlines on Monday said it is expecting a significant loss for the current quarter as dozens of Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft remain on the ground, reported dpa news.

The Chicago-based company forecasted adjusted quarterly loss per share of between US$0.35 and US$0.85 in the first quarter of 2024, due to the impact of the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. United has 79 planes of this type.

The US aviation regulator told airlines to inspect the door plugs on Boeing 737 MAX 9 after a near-accident led that model to come under scrutiny and shake confidence in the US aerospace giant.

An investigation is underway into the chaos that unfolded on January 5, when a defective door plug flew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 shortly after taking off from Portland, Oregon. The mid-air blow-out left a gaping hole in the plane carrying 177 people and forced an emergency landing.

The FAA has grounded MAX 9 aircraft featuring the door plugs, affecting around 170 aircraft worldwide. It is unclear when the 737 MAX 9 will be allowed to fly again.

United on Monday also released its full-year and fourth-quarter results. In the last quarter of 2023, United’s profit fell year-on-year from US$843 million to US$600 million.

Revenue in the passenger business rose by 11 per cent to US$12.4 billion, while there was a decline of 15 per cent in the cargo business. Overall, revenue rose by 10 per cent to $13.6 billion. - Bernama

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