Boeing Has 5,000 Unfilled Aircraft Orders

Boeing has almost 5,000 unfulfilled orders across its commercial aircraft portfolio. The manufacturer, which had an understandably difficult 2020, has suffered from a slew of cancellations due to the COVID pandemic and MAX grounding over the past couple of years.

United Airlines, Sustainable Aviation Fuels, Eco-Skies Alliance
Despite many cancellations, Boeing still needs to deliver almost 5,000 planes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Boeing’s unfulfilled orders almost at 5,000

Boeing’s website has revealed just how many unfulfilled aircraft orders it has. In total, Boeing’s backlog of unfulfilled aircraft orders is at 4,989. This comes after a difficult year for the plane manufacturer, which received just 184 orders for new planes last year.

The unfulfilled order book includes:

  • 737 MAX – 3,965
  • 787 Dreamliner – 495
  • 777X – 320
  • 737-800A – 41
  • 777F – 40
  • 767-300F – 40
The majority of unfulfilled orders are for the 737 MAX. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Boeing had more cancellations for the 737 MAX than it had new orders through 2020. This is down to the plane’s infamous grounding in March 2019 and subsequent problems with recertification. In fact, up until February this year, Boeing had received more cancellations month-on-month than it had new orders since November 2019.

In December, Boeing took a large order for 75 MAXs from Ryanair, but in the same month saw over 100 MAX orders canceled. Cancellations were primarily from aviation lessors cautious about dwindling demand for new planes. The company has also seen more interest in freighter orders, with many airlines now focusing on cargo operations due to the lack of passenger demand.

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282 new orders this year

Boeing has received a total of 282 orders for aircraft in 2021. Out of these orders, 224 are for 737 MAX aircraft. This includes a large order for 100 MAXs from Southwest Airlines, 50 for United Airlines and 32 for Alaska Airlines. In contrast, the 787 Dreamliner has been ordered just four times from an unidentified customer.

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing has not delivered nearly as many planes as its rival Airbus in the past year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

To put this figure into perspective, Boeing received a total of 184 orders for 2020 and 249 in 2019.  In just three months, Boeing has managed to surpass both years. However, Boeing has been underperforming in terms of deliveries, with just 157 deliveries throughout 2020. This is down from 380 deliveries in 2019 and in stark contrast to rival Airbus, which managed 566 deliveries last year.

An improved 2021 on the cards?

On an optimistic note, Boeing appears to be hitting its stride again in 2021. After a rough couple of years for the order book, mostly driven by the failures of the MAX, Boeing is now receiving more new orders than cancelations. The timely recertification and return of the MAX to the skies have played a huge role in helping Boeing achieve this.

The ungrounding of the MAX came at the right time for Boeing. Photo: Boeing

The manufacturer recently delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to a customer in almost five months. Boeing delivered a brand-new 787-9 to United Airlines after “several months of engineering analysis and inspection work.” This represents the first time since October 2020 that a new Dreamliner has reached a customer.

Do you think Boeing has handled the COVID pandemic effectively? Do you see the manufacturer bouncing back in 2021? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.