October 30, 2019 / 7:39 PM / 13 days ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-General Electric not forecasting 737 MAX return to service this year

(Corrects title of CFO in 5th paragraph)

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - General Electric Co is not forecasting the Boeing Co 737 MAX jetliner will return to service this year, GE Chief Executive Larry Culp said during a conference call on quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

GE and French partner Safran SA make engines for the jet.

GE reiterated its forecast for $1.4 billion in costs from the grounding of the aircraft this year, a forecast that assumes the jet remains grounded through the fourth quarter. “As we think about 2020, I think we’re going to try to follow Boeing’s lead here,” Culp said, responding to an analyst question. “When we talk about the full-year cash headwinds this year due to MAX, that, obviously, assumes that we don’t see a return to service this year,” he said.

GE’s chief financial officer, Jamie Miller, said GE still expects “the year to be impacted to the tune of about negative $1.4 billion.” She said it was “difficult to predict” the financial impact on GE in 2020 and beyond.

Boeing has said it expects the jet to clear approval by U.S. regulators by year-end. Global aviation regulators grounded the jet after a second fatal crash last March. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott; editing by Louise Heavens and Leslie Adler)

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