Key Points:

  • Boeing delivers 35 aircraft in August, facing setbacks due to 737 MAX manufacturing defects.

  • Boeing CFO notes they are on the "low end" of the annual delivery target for 737 models.

  • Boeing reports new orders for 43 planes in August, despite facing production hindrances.

Manufacturing Defects Slows Down Boeing's 737 MAX Deliveries

ARLINGTON —Amid the trying times with manufacturing defects slowing down the progress, Boeing handed over 35 aircraft in August, recording its most modest delivery number since April. The meticulous task of rectifying a defect in the 737 MAX aft pressure bulkhead has been cited as the primary reason for this downturn. Notwithstanding the present setbacks, Boeing maintains a stable year with 344 deliveries from January to August, a notable increase compared to last year's numbers influenced significantly by the pandemic repercussions.

While it battles the manufacturing challenges, Boeing CFO Brian West revealed that the expected delivery numbers would likely gravitate towards the "low end" of its initial 400-450 target for the 737 series in the current year. The manufacturing impediment involves an extensive inspection and rectification process on numerous misdrilled holes on the 737 MAX 8. Meanwhile, the European adversary, Airbus, is holding a stronger ground with 433 deliveries in the same period, a notable 52 of which took place in August.

Boeing still showcased resilience with an announcement of 43 new orders in August, even after accounting for two cancellations. This number is bolstered by SMBC Aviation Capital stepping forward with a significant order for 25 737 MAX 8 planes, a deal that was previously under wraps. In contrast, Airbus capitalized with a sale of 117 planes in the same month, maintaining a substantial lead in the market.

Delving deeper into the numbers, Boeing's distribution in August also encompassed 13 widebody jets, a collection involving five 787 Dreamliners and a blend of 767s and 777 freighters, meeting varied customer needs, including those of the U.S. Air Force and FedEx. The aviation giant's year-to-date gross orders ascended to 624 in August, a figure reached after accommodating cancellations and conversions, standing at 510 net orders.

Stakeholders and investors keep a vigilant eye on the delivery digits as the majority of the financial exchange in the aircraft business materializes at the transfer stage to the customer. Despite Boeing’s efforts to stabilize amidst the challenges, Airbus demonstrates a stronger foothold with a remarkable 1,257 gross orders or 1,218 after accounting for cancellations, overshadowing Boeing's net 737 orders post-accounting adjustments.