Boeing Delivered Less Than 80 Aircraft Last Quarter

Boeing delivered only 79 aircraft in the last quarter of 2019, with the Boeing 737 MAX singularly to blame for the low numbers.

Boeing factory
Boeing has only delivered 79 aircraft in the last three months. Photo: Getty Images

What are the details?

Boeing recently reported its fourth-quarter aircraft deliveries in a recent press release. What is notable is how few aircraft the manufacturer actually managed to send out to patient customers.

Whilst the numbers are sound for aircraft such as the Boeing 787 (and pretty fantastic considering how large they are), the lack of strong Boeing 737 deliveries is concerning.

Here is the full list of aircraft deliveries by type, and with a running count for the year.

Aircraft 4th Quarter Year To Date 2019
Boeing 737 9 127
Boeing 747 2 7
Boeing 767 11 43
Boeing 777 12 45
Boeing 787 45 158
Total 79 380

This list is not 100% confirmed (that will be during the next Boeing earnings call).

The Boeing 737s that were delivered in 2019 were either Boeing 737 MAXs before the grounding or the final Boeing 737-800 aircraft (type not grounded. You can read about the differences between the two here. 

Getty 737 MAX
A lack of Boeing 737 deliveries is very conspicuous Photo: Getty

This is a far cry from what Boeing reported this time last year. Back then, Boeing reported 806 delivered aircraft (more than 50% of 2019s number), with 580 Boeing 737 aircraft making up the bulk of the orders.

“We are honored that customers around the world continued to vote for the unmatched capabilities of Boeing’s airplane and services portfolio. In addition to the ongoing demand for the 737 MAX, we saw strong sales for every one of our twin-aisle airplanes in a ringing endorsement of their market-leading performance and efficiency,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company back in 2019.

Why are Boeing 737 MAX deliveries so low?

Whilst Boeing still does have a seven-year waiting period for the new Boeing 737 aircraft, it is clear that events in the last year have massively affected Boeing’s delivery schedule. With the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing is unable to deliver completed 737 MAX aircraft to its clients.

A better question to ask might be ‘how many aircraft has Boeing built’. If we include the completed 737 MAXs that are currently piled up in car parks around the Boeing factory, the firm is at around 800 aircraft.

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAXs are parked all over Boeing facilities. Photo: Getty

This is why despite having low delivery numbers for the year, Boeing has not made a loss of these missed MAX deliveries. Unless the entire aircraft line gets scrapped (very unlikely), Boeing still technically has the aircraft ‘orders’ in the bag.

How does this compare to Airbus?

Perhaps a better benchmark to make sense of these numbers is Boeing’s rival Airbus.

In 2019, Airbus delivered 8% more aircraft. This is a rumored total number of 863 aircraft, well over the 800 or so they delivered back in 2018. Thus this is around the same number that Boeing would have delivered this year.

Overall we can see that the Boeing 737 MAX is the single reason to blame for the lack of aircraft deliveries. When the MAX flies again, Boeing will flurry out these orders and will likely count the deliveries in this year’s figures, somewhat unfairly claiming a record year over their rival.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.