Boeing 737 MAX monthly deliveries fall to lowest since 2021

Boeing, the largest U.S. planemaker, faced some challenges in September as deliveries of its popular 737 MAX aircraft hit their lowest level since August 2021. The company has been grappling with a manufacturing defect that required inspections and fixes on thousands of incorrectly drilled holes in the 737 MAX aft pressure bulkhead. Despite this setback, Boeing received a significant boost in new orders, indicating continued confidence in the company’s products.

In September, Boeing delivered a total of 27 aircraft, including 15 737 MAX planes, 10 787s, and two 777s. While the number of MAX 8 and MAX 9 deliveries was relatively low, it is important to note that deliveries only resumed in December 2020 after a global grounding following two tragic accidents that occurred in 2018 and 2019. Since then, Boeing has made significant progress in ensuring the safety and reliability of the 737 MAX.

The month of September also saw Boeing secure new orders for 224 planes, underscoring the industry’s trust in the company’s offerings. Notable orders included 50 787s for United Airlines and 18 787s for Air Canada. These orders, along with others, contribute to Boeing’s solid backlog, which surpassed 5,000 planes for the first time since December 2019. The backlog indicates a strong demand for Boeing’s aircraft and bodes well for the company’s future.

Investors responded positively to the news, with Boeing’s shares rising 2.6% during mid-day trading. Delivery numbers are closely monitored by investors, as they indicate when the majority of payment for an aircraft is received. Despite the challenges faced in September, Boeing has delivered a total of 371 planes to customers in the first nine months of 2023, including 286 737s and 50 787s, along with 35 other planes.

In comparison, European rival Airbus delivered 488 aircraft during the same period, including 55 in September. Both Boeing and Airbus have experienced a surge in orders as airlines rush to secure their future fleets. This increased demand has resulted in backlogs for both companies, with deliveries extending into the latter part of the decade.

While Boeing continues to address the manufacturing defect and ensure the highest standards of safety, it is worth noting that the company is still awaiting certification for the smaller 737 MAX 7 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Despite the delay, Boeing remains committed to delivering the 737 MAX 7 in 2024.

Overall, Boeing’s ability to secure new orders and maintain a robust backlog demonstrates the industry’s confidence in the company’s products. As the aviation industry continues to recover and expand, Boeing is well-positioned to meet the demand for safe, reliable, and efficient aircraft.

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