Boeing delivers 56% fewer planes this May – FAA confirms 737 MAX will fly again by December

Southwest Airlines one of the biggest Boeing 737 MAX operators ©AirTeamImages

Boeing has delivered 56% fewer airplanes compared to May 2018, citing the continued suspension of the 737 MAX as the main culprit for the low figure. Having delivered 68 planes in May 2018, the U.S. planemaker delivered only 30 last month. For the first five months of 2019 net orders now stand at a total of minus 125. For the same period, Airbus delivered 81 aircraft, an increase of 59% compared to May 2018, making a total of 313 aircraft for the year, up 40% on the same period in 2018.

However, it is not all bad news for Boeing as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced on Wednesday, June 12, at an aviation safety conference in Cologne, Germany that, without giving a precise date, the beleaguered 737 MAX will be flying again by December. While the FAA is “under a lot of pressure,” Ali Bahrami, the U.S. regulator’s associate administrator for aviation safety said the Max will be returned to service “when we believe it will be safe.”

The timing of the news from the FAA could not be better for Boeing who would normally look to the forthcoming Parish Air Show, beginning June 17, as a major opportunity to secure sales in what is always a very competitive arena with its close rival, Airbus. It is estimated that the highly prized commercial wide-body jet market is currently worth around US$10 billion, and Boeing has long been in negotiations with Chinese carriers over a potential deal worth an estimated US$30 billion before customary deductions and finalizing of jet types. Boeing is hoping to boost sales of the 777-9 which has suffered a slump in sales, along with the 787 Dreamliner, with an order of what is believed to be 100 aircraft. However the trade war between the U.S and China,  instigated by President Trump, has proven to create a stumbling block for any current deal to be struck.

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