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United Airlines aircraft at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston

Photo: Loren Elliott / REUTERS

The airline United Airlines expects a significant loss for the current quarter because dozens of Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft have to remain on the ground.

United on Monday forecast an adjusted quarterly loss per share of between 35 and 85 cents.

United has 79 aircraft of the type.

The aircraft are to be subjected to an inspection.

The reason is a dangerous incident on an Alaska Airlines flight: On January 5th, a part of the fuselage of an almost new aircraft broke off during the climb.

The pilots were able to land the plane safely, and the 177 people on board were largely unscathed.

The FAA has since banned the variant with this component from flying.

Around 170 machines worldwide are affected.

It is unclear when the 737 Max 9 will be allowed to fly again.

United and competitor Alaska Airlines also found loose fasteners in other aircraft of the type.

In the last quarter, United's profit fell year-on-year from $843 million to $600 million (€551 million).

That represented adjusted earnings per share of $2.

Revenue in the passenger business rose by eleven percent to $12.4 billion, while there was a decline of 15 percent in the freight business.

Overall, revenue rose by ten percent to $13.6 billion.

United shares temporarily rose by more than seven percent in after-hours US trading.

Analysts on average had expected less profit in the last quarter.

The forecast for adjusted earnings per share for the full year also exceeded expectations with a range of nine to eleven dollars.