Boeing falls behind Airbus in deliveries as 737 MAX crisis bites

Cheryl Sanders
July 10, 2019

Airlines had been snapping up Boeing's fuel-efficient 737 Max, which competes with the Airbus neo. Boeing's Renton, WA facility, where the 737 MAX is manufactured, only shows 23 openings as of this week.

In the first half of 2019, deliveries have plunged by 37% from 378 a year ago to just 239 aircraft.

Boeing reported 239 commercial plane deliveries in the first half of the year, a 37% fall compared to 378 in the same period last year, highlighting the extent to which the crashes have had an impact on its reputation in the market.

Les Echos reported on Monday that Airbus was shaving an internal delivery target, while maintaining its published guidance of 880-890 aircraft for 2019.

Airbus' Paris total was boosted by the launch of an extra-long-range variant of its A321 narrow-body jet, which accumulated 44 firm orders, excluding conversions from other models.

Boeing has developed a software upgrade after problems with a flight handling system were tied to Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes that together claimed 346 lives. Boeing held on to the title by just six jets in 2018 after both companies kept their factories running through the year-end holidays.

Boeing cut production of the 737 Max by about a fifth to 42 jetliners a month in April. The Air Force discovered debris rattling around in some of the first tankers delivered and has slowed deliveries to around 1.5 planes per month, about half the original delivery schedule.

Boeing in June again reported no new orders for the 737 MAX. Boeing didn't include the orders in its monthly tally because the order isn't finalized.

The company's backlog of unfilled 737 orders, after an accounting adjustment, fell by 10 aircraft to 4,415 from May's results, according to Boeing's website.

The announcement comes a day after Boeing said Saudi airline Flyadeal, the budget airline arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp., canceled an order worth up to $5.9 billion in favor of a deal with rival Airbus.

Boeing's shares were up 0.40 percent as of 2 p.m. Tuesday after a morning dip.

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