Boeing first-half deliveries fall 37 percent as MAX crisis bites

July 10, 2019
Southwest Airlines 737 MAX aircraft at Victorville, California. Image: KCAL9.

What would have been a gala year for Boeing commercial aircraft deliveries has turned sour as undelivered Boeing 737 MAX jets sit idle at sites around the US, including the plane-maker’s car parking lot.

The US manufacturer reported Tuesday that deliveries fell by a more than a third in the first half of 2019 to 239 planes as the MAX crisis continued to bite.

That compares to 379 aircraft delivered in the corresponding period last year and 389 delivered by rival Airbus in the first half of 2019.

The figures show Boeing delivered just 24 737s in the second quarter to bring the first-half total to 113.

Also delivered during the first six months of 2019 were four 747s, 22 767s, 22 777s and 78 787s.

The MAX has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes in less than five months killed 346 people.

There is still no public timeframe for returning the planes to the air and even when that green light is given some analysts are predicting it will take more than a year to clear the backlog.

READ:  Boeing loses big Max order to Airbus

Boeing is still building 737s but slowed production to 42 a month in the wake of the grounding and there is speculation another cut could be in the pipeline.

There were no new orders for the MAX in June, marking the third consecutive month where that was the case.

A more upbeat and expansive Airbus revealed it had delivered in the first half of 2019  315 single-aisle planes, a category which now includes the A220, as well as 17 A330s, 53 A350s and four A380 superjumbos.

Fifty-four A320 family aircraft were delivered in June in both the neo and ceo versions along with six A220s.

“Wide-body deliveries during the month were led by the A350 XWB, with a total of 10 aircraft provided in both the A350-900 and A350-1000 versions,” Airbus said

“Notable handovers involved the initial A350 XWBs for China Southern Airlines and Japan Airlines – both receiving A350-900s.

“Completing the wide-body activity in June were deliveries of five A330neo aircraft and one A380.”

Airbus launched the A321XLR  at the Paris Air Show in June with bookings standing at 44 aircraft by June 30 and entry into service targeted for 2023.

Described by the company as the “next evolutionary step” for the A320 series, the aircraft is expected to provide 30 percent lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft and a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles.

There were also 86 bookings for other jetliners from the A320neo family and 15 A220 orders.

Taking the latest orders and deliveries into account, Airbus’ backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 7,276 aircraft as of June 30.

This included 5,871 single-aisle A320 family jetliners and 473 A220s.