SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — Boeing reported a first-quarter loss of $425 million, exceeding Wall Street's expectations. However, the company announced plans to increase production of its popular 737 Max later this year. 

The 28% year-over-year revenue increase resulted from airlines purchasing new aircraft to meet growing travel demand. Boeing maintains its goal to generate $3 billion to $5 billion in cash flow this year. The company's shares experienced a 5% spike before closing with less than 1% gain.

CEO David Calhoun deemed it a "solid first quarter," emphasizing steady progress in recovery despite lingering challenges. The company's quarterly loss was primarily attributed to the expenses of fixing production defects on passenger jets and a military tanker write-down.

Boeing will delay some plane deliveries intended for the busy summer travel season due to unapproved fittings installed by Spirit AeroSystems since 2019. Calhoun explained that a sealant applied over fuselage joints concealed cracks, which took four years to detect. Despite concerns about supply chain issues, Boeing remains confident that Spirit AeroSystems can meet accelerated production schedules.

Fixing the flaws on unassembled planes will take a few days, while approximately 225 completed Max jets in inventory will require more time. The exact number of delayed 737 deliveries remains uncertain. However, Calhoun previously mentioned that around 9,000 seats or about 50 Max jets would be absent from airline schedules this summer. Despite these challenges, Boeing aims to deliver 400 to 450 Max jets this year, with 111 already delivered in the first quarter.

Boeing plans to increase Max production from 31 to 38 units per month later this year and 50 units per month by 2025 or 2026. The company reassures that the fuselage issue does not compromise safety and that airlines can continue using planes already in service. Additionally, Boeing intends to increase production of the two-aisle 787 Dreamliner from three to five units per month. However, 787 deliveries have faced pauses in the last two years due to quality and paperwork issues.

The Arlington-based company reported a core operational loss of $1.27 per share, compared to analysts' expectation of $1.07 per share loss. Both airliner and defense units experienced losses, with the defense unit facing a $245 million charge to repair the KC-46A refueling tanker. Meanwhile, Boeing's services business remained profitable. The company's revenue reached $17.92 billion, surpassing analysts' $17.52 billion forecast.

Boeing's shareholders will bear a $414 million loss in the first quarter, with an additional $11 million loss attributed to a noncontrolling interest. Following a $5 billion loss last year, Boeing's trends are gradually improving, according to Jeff Windau, an analyst for Edward Jones. He expressed optimism for better performance in the second half of the year, considering the demand for planes and a robust order book.