Challenges surrounding 737 jet impact Boeing's July performance.

Key Points:

  • Boeing's July aircraft deliveries (43) were lower than Airbus' (65) and showed a dip from their June figures.

  • Boeing experienced disruptions including a bracket defect in its 737s, a supplier work stoppage, and a bridge collapse affecting rail deliveries.

  • Airbus outpaces Boeing in gross orders, with 1,140 gross orders against Boeing's 579 as of July.

ARLINGTON — Amid supply chain and logistical disruptions, Boeing lagged behind Airbus in aircraft deliveries for July. The U.S. aerospace giant confirmed the handover of 43 planes, contrasting with Airbus' 65, and a decline from their own 60 deliveries in June.

Significantly, there was a notable drop in deliveries of the 737 MAX, Boeing's flagship narrowbody jet. From a high of 48 in June, deliveries reduced to 32 by July. This downturn was the most notable since the revelation in April about a defect: improperly installed brackets on the vertical tails of approximately three-quarters of its 737 stock.

CEO of Boeing, Dave Calhoun, pinpointed the bracket issue, an operational halt at Spirit AeroSystems, their supplier, and a rail transport obstruction due to a bridge collapse, as contributing factors that could reduce deliveries in Q3.

Despite these setbacks, Boeing revealed an uptick in 737 production last month, raising the output from 31 to 38 jets monthly. However, CFO Brian West intimated that reaching consistent delivery rates at this increased pace might take a while.

July's aircraft delivery breakdown for Boeing was: 32 737 MAXs, four 787 Dreamliners, three 777 freighters, three 767s, and a singular Next-Generation 737, set to be transformed into a P-8 maritime patrol craft for the U.S. Navy.

In the backdrop of these challenges, Boeing still managed to secure 52 new orders in July, headlined by a deal for 39 Dreamliners with Saudia, without any cancellations. Meanwhile, Airbus secured 60 orders for the same month.

Tallying the numbers from January, Boeing's gross orders summed up to 579 by the end of July, translating to 467 net orders post-cancellations and conversions. After making adjustments, this number goes up to 659. Reflecting this growth, Boeing’s commercial backlog jumped from 4,879 to 4,928. In the same timeframe, Airbus recorded 1,140 gross orders, or 1,101 after taking into account cancellations.