Business

Boeing's income soars 58%; Delta, US Airways post losses

The Boeing Co. raked in 58% more income in its first quarter as it builds more efficient planes for airlines struggling with high fuel costs.

The company earned $923 million, or $1.22 per share, compared with $586 million, or 78 cents a share, during the same period a year earlier. Its revenue boomed 30% to $19.4 billion.

During the quarter, Boeing delivered 137 commercial planes and said it has orders to build more than 4,000 others valued at a record $308 billion. The aircraft maker said it has more than 300 orders for its new fuel-efficient 737 Max jetliner.

Overall, the commercial segment saw revenue increase 54% to $10.9 billion. Boeing’s defense division was a bit slower, but revenue still grew 27% to $4.3 billion.

The company’s stock was trading up 4.7%, or $3.42, to $76.63 in afternoon trading in New York.

But airline companies, which in a period of consolidation have raised airfares and meal and baggage fees while trimming services, reported losses in the first quarter. With the summer vacation season approaching, however, airlines said they expected traveler demand to stay strong.

US Airways Group Inc., which has been pushing for a potential merger with American Airlines without making a formal offer, reported a $22-million, or 13-cents-per-share, loss excluding special items. That’s compared with last year’s loss of $110 million, or 68 cents per share.

Operating revenue was up 10.3% to $3.3 billion from nearly $3 billion a year earlier, even with a 13.2% spike in fuel prices.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said it lost $39 million, or 5 cents a share, excluding special items, up from a loss of $320 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue was up 9% to $8.4 billion.

The company’s fuel costs were $250 million, or 14% more than in the same period last year.

The airline said revenues from passengers was up 10% to $651 million and said 87.3% of its flights arrived on time during the quarter, an improvement of 7.3 percentage points. Its baggage performance was 31% better and consumer complaints through the Department of Transportation dropped 53%.

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