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.

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

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Aircraft4th QuarterYear To Date 2019
Boeing 7379127
Boeing 74727
Boeing 7671143
Boeing 7771245
Boeing 78745158
Total79380

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. 

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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.

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Frank

…and to add to their woes, Malaysia has just suspended their order for 25 of the 737 Max. I guess airlines are getting tired of it all

TheDude

Well let’s be fair for a minute. That airline is in massive debt and they have been looking for a buyer. This could just be a convenient well timed excuse.

Frank

As far as Boeing’s order book is concerned – does it really matter? They still took delivery of all their A350’s from Airbus and while it may be convenient, had the Max been up and flying – they would have taken them. Both Boeing and Malaysian have come out and said it’s due to the grounding. Analysts may speculate, but guys like you usually call that kinda stuff ‘fake news’

Trent

Love seeing the 747 making deliveries!

Gerry S

Was not aware that there is a SEVEN year waiting list for the MAX. Time enough to create a brand new airplane.

Frank

But that would take Boeing to admit how really wrong they were on the Max. I’m sure if they went with hat in hands, to the airlines and humbly proposed a clean sheet design, the airlines would be all over it. Yes, it would be a few lean years at Boeing, but it would make things a whole lot better.

But ego’s…

Joe

and Boeing, like all big global corporations march to the tune of the quarterly results. They can’t be seen to have lean years

Frank

Well then – they have to accept the consequences of their decisions. Seems to me a clean sheet would be the best way to remedy the situation and do it right.

Anything else is sub-optimal and a band aid, which is why they are in the mess they are

Good point, Joe.

martyn

At the time the A320neo was announced they had a health waiting list for the NG that was the time to create a replacement for the 737 and have a completely new aircraft to compete against the NEO and plenty of orders to keep both happy, bit late now they have blown all the money they saved with producing the Max instead of a new aircraft on compensation.