Troubled aviation giant Boeing reported a first-quarter loss of $343 million on Wednesday, reflecting recent safety troubles that have slowed production and deliveries.

Boeing said it tempered production in the 737 program following a January near-catastrophic incident on an Alaska Airlines jet. The company is implementing a "comprehensive action plan" following a federal audit of the program, Boeing said.

The first-quarter loss, which was somewhat smaller than analysts expected, compared with a loss of $414 million in the year-ago period. Revenues fell 7.5 percent to $16.6 billion.

Boeing's commercial airplane business suffered an operating loss as the company pointed to unspecified "customer considerations" following a temporary grounding of the 737 MAX 9.

Boeing's defense space and security division reported operating profitability in spite of losses on "certain fixed-price development programs," the company said in its press release.

"Our first quarter results reflect the immediate actions we've taken to slow down 737 production to drive improvements in quality," said Chief Executive Dave Calhoun, who will step down at the end of 2024.

The extra time taken "will position us for a stronger and more stable future," Calhoun said.

The US aerospace giant has been on the defensive since the January 5 emergency landing on the Alaska Airlines plane after a panel on the fuselage blew out mid-flight.

Since then, an audit by an advisory panel of the Federal Aviation Administration pointed to significant shortcomings in Boeing's safety culture.

Last week, a Senate panel heard from a whistleblower who said he was punished after raising safety questions about the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing's other top-selling plane.

Shares of Boeing rose 3.4 percent in pre-market trading.