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Boeing Faces Manufacturing Defect Challenges as Plane Deliveries Hit Lowest Level Since April

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Boeing Struggles with Manufacturing Defect on the 737 MAX

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Boeing’s Deliveries Drop in August

Boeing delivered only 35 planes in August, the lowest number since April. The company is facing challenges in correcting a manufacturing defect on its popular 737 MAX aircraft, which requires time-consuming work.

Comparison with Airbus

During the first eight months of 2023, Boeing delivered 344 planes, a significant increase compared to the same period last year when work was impacted by the pandemic. In contrast, rival Airbus delivered 433 aircraft, with 52 delivered in August.

Impact on 737 Deliveries

In August, Boeing delivered only 22 narrowbody 737 MAXs, including one Boeing Business Jet. Boeing’s CFO, Brian West, stated that the company’s 737 deliveries this year would be on the “low end” of its target range of 400-450 due to the extensive inspection and fixing process required for misdrilled holes on the 737 MAX 8 aft pressure bulkhead.

New Orders and Sales

Boeing received new orders for 43 planes in August, including a previously unannounced sale of 25 737 MAX 8 planes to aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital. In comparison, Airbus sold 117 planes during the same month.

Other Deliveries

Aside from the 737 MAX, Boeing also delivered 13 widebody jets, including 5 787 Dreamliners, 3 767s (including 3 KC-46 tankers for the U.S. Air Force), and 2 freighters for FedEx, as well as 3 777 freighters.

Importance of Delivery Numbers

Investors closely monitor delivery numbers as they indicate when the majority of payment for an aircraft is received by airplane manufacturers.

Order Statistics

In August, Boeing’s gross orders reached 624, with 510 net orders after accounting for cancellations and conversions. Boeing received 737 net orders after accounting adjustments. On the other hand, Airbus booked 1,257 gross orders or 1,218 after cancellations.

Commercial Backlog

Boeing’s commercial backlog increased from 4,928 to 4,971.

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