Boeing Logs First MAX Order Since April

Boeing Logs First MAX Order Since April
The Dreamliner is one of Boeing’s biggest cash generators. Photo: Mic Smith/Associated Press

Boeing Co. BA -0.65% booked its first 737 MAX order since April but also reported cancellations for 22 of its 787 Dreamliners, which will leave the embattled aerospace giant seeking more customers for its twin-aisle jets.

The Chicago-based company on Tuesday said it delivered 26 jetliners last month and won an order from an unidentified customer for a MAX to be used as a private jet. That was the first completed MAX deal since an order for four in April, after the aircraft was grounded globally following two fatal crashes in less than six months.

Shares fell 0.6% on Tuesday.

The company delivered 302 jetliners in the first nine months of the year compared with 568 in the same period last year.

Analysts expect Boeing to deliver around 440 jetliners this year if regulators sign off on fixes to the MAX that allow shipments of the aircraft to resume this year. European regulators have raised heightened concerns about proposed fixes to the plane’s flight-control systems that could delay its return, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Boeing delivered 806 planes in 2018. Rival Airbus SE, which is set to overtake Boeing in terms of deliveries this year, shipped 71 jetliners in September, two more than the same period last year to take its 2019 total to 571, requiring more than 100 more in each of the next three months to hit existing guidance.

Two crashes and the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX commercial airliner led to extensive disruption in the international aerospace industry. WSJ’s Robert Wall explains the continuing effects of the plane’s grounding. Photo: Getty Images

The uncertainty over the return of the MAX has made the 787 a key focus for investors. The Dreamliner is one of Boeing’s biggest cash generators and is expected to deliver a bigger share of profits as Boeing absorbs compensation claims from MAX customers.

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Boeing is producing 14 of the 787s each month but production has hit that delivery rate only twice this year. September deliveries were hit by the temporary shutdown of the Boeing plant in North Charleston, SC, because of Hurricane Dorian.

The 787s canceled in September had been ordered by Aeroflot Russian Airlines. Boeing has also booked cancellations for 90 MAX jets ordered by India’s bankrupt Jet Airways. The cancellations leave Boeing nursing a net loss of 84 jet orders so far this year, despite winning deals for 170 new planes.

Slowing global traffic growth has hurt orders for wide body jets, but Boeing has said the retirement of older planes in the early 2020s should trigger a surge in deals. Analysts said Boeing could still have to trim 787 production. Potential twin-aisle jet customers include Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Qantas Airways Ltd., China Airlines Ltd., Saudia, Philippine Airlines and Chinese carriers, analysts have said.

Write to Doug Cameron at [email protected]

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