Boeing Co has said that it handed over 28 airplanes to buyers in July as revived domestic travel fuels 737 MAX deliveries, but the US plane maker's 787 remained in inventory for a fourth month due to defects.
The closely watched monthly orders and deliveries snapshot comes as Boeing bids to recoup billions of dollars in lost sales from the COVID-19 pandemic, and move beyond the safety scandal caused by two fatal 737 MAX crashes.
Of the aircraft Boeing delivered to airlines and other buyers in July, 22 were 737 MAX single-aisle jets, one was a P-8 maritime patrol aircraft for the US Navy, and the remaining five were widebodies. The widebodies included one KC-46 tanker to the US Air Force and four freighters.
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As well as aiming to raise 737 MAX deliveries, Boeing is also dealing with structural defects of its bigger, more profitable 787 planes, deliveries of which have been halted twice since 2020. Boeing has been forced to cut production, though it has on occasion handed over the jet to buyers.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed on July 12 that some undelivered Boeing 787s have a new manufacturing quality issue the plane maker will need fix before the planes will be delivered. A source told Reuters that it may be at least several more weeks before the issue is resolved.
Deliveries are financially important to plane makers because airlines pay most of the purchase price when they actually receive the aircraft.
Boeing is eying a strong recovery in domestic travel in the United States and other markets, though international passenger travel remains depressed.
It has delivered 154 737 MAX jets since that aircraft returned to service in November 2020 following a nearly two-year safety ban after the fatal crashes.
Overall, Boeing delivered 184 jetliners for the year through July, according to the latest data made available by the plane maker.
Boeing said that in July it received orders for 31 aircraft, including 19 of its 737 MAX jets, and 12 of its larger widebodies.
However, airlines in July cancelled orders for 17 jets, including 15 MAXs and two 787s. For the first half of the year, Boeing also removed 11 of its 787s from its backlog after applying stricter accounting standards to previously booked orders.
Factoring in cancelled orders, instances where a buyer converted to another jet model and accounting adjustments, Boeing's order tally for July stood at 14 - the sixth straight month of positive net orders for Boeing.
Overall, Boeing's total backlog decreased by 14 jets to 4,141 aircraft in July, from 4,155 at the end of June, it said.
Boeing 737 MAX Test Plane Takes Flight In China
A Boeing Co 737 MAX test plane took to the skies in China on Wednesday August 11 as the US manufacturer looks to end a nearly two-and-a-half-year regulatory grounding of the model in the key travel market.
Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 showed a 737 MAX 7 test plane taking off from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at 9.24am (0124 GMT), with no destination listed, flying in a south-easterly direction.
The flight tracking was incomplete, but photos on Chinese aviation blogs showed it landed at Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport, about 150 km (80 nautical miles) to the south, which industry sources told Reuters was the expected destination.
Boeing has a 737 MAX completion plant in Zhoushan to install interiors and paint airplane liveries.
The 737 MAX test plane had left Seattle last week and arrived in Shanghai on August 7 after refuelling stops in Honolulu and Guam. Reuters reported last week that it was due for its first test flight in China on August 11 if all went well.
Boeing said that it is continuing to work with global regulators as they complete their validation processes on the model and declined to comment specifically on the test flight in China.
After flight testing, China's regulator is expected to issue an aircraft evaluation report and put it out for comment before pilot training could begin, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Approximately 30 airlines and 175 countries have allowed the 737 MAX to return to service following a nearly two-year safety ban after crashes five months apart killed 346 people, plunging Boeing into a financial crisis since compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boeing's 737 MAX remains grounded in China, where trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have cut off sales for years, although Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun said last month that he still expected the 737 MAX to win approval before year-end.
China's aviation regulator previously issued three requirements for the 737 MAX's return to service: certified design changes, sufficient pilot training, and definitive findings from the crash investigations.
Before the 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019, Boeing was selling one quarter of the planes it built annually to Chinese buyers. For years, simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing have caused uncertainty.
India Set To Clear Boeing 737 MAX To Fly Again Soon
India is set to allow Boeing Co's 737 MAX jets to resume flights in the country within days, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday August 12, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The country has been satisfied with the plane's performance since it was un-grounded in the United States, Europe and a number of other markets, and Boeing has met India's own requirements, which included setting up a MAX simulator, according to the report.
Boeing said in a statement that it continues to work with global regulators to safely return the 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX to service worldwide, and deferred the timeline to India's air safety regulator.
If the US plane manufacturer gets the go-ahead in India, it will end a nearly two-and-a-half-year regulatory grounding of the model in a key travel market.
India's SpiceJet Ltd has more than 100 737 MAX planes on firm order.
Spicejet, which is India's second-largest airline by market share, currently has 13 737 MAX planes grounded and is in talks with Boeing for compensation towards costs and losses it has suffered.
SpiceJet and India's civil aviation ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Shares in the budget carrier ended the day 5% higher.
India and China are the only two major markets where regulators are yet to give the MAX the go-ahead.
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