Alaska Air Group says 737 Max 9 grounding may hit long-term profit growth

(Reuters) -Alaska Air Group said on Thursday the lost capacity from the temporary grounding of its Boeing 737 Max 9 fleet may cause the company’s long-term profit growth to be below its target range of 4% to 8%.

Earlier this month, Alaska Air forecast first-quarter adjusted loss per share of 55 cents to 45 cents per share, compared with analysts’ estimates for a loss of $1.18 per share, according to LSEG data.

The first-quarter forecast reflects an unspecified partial compensation the carrier received from Boeing following a mid-air blowout of a door plug panel in January and a 30 cent-per-share impact from the temporary grounding of MAX 9 jets after the incident, Alaska Air said earlier.

The airline had also said its full-year capacity expectations were still in a “flux” due to uncertainty surrounding aircraft delivery timings stemming from increased Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Justice scrutiny of Boeing and its operations.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)