Boeing has delivered almost 90 737 Max since US regulators lifted the type’s grounding last November, though airlines have placed those jet in storage, according to Cirium fleets data.
Boeing last week disclosed it had recommended that customers remove an undisclosed number of Max from service due to electrical concerns.
The company declines to specify how many jets are affected, but one airline said the issue only involves recently delivered jets.
Still, the pace at which Boeing has offloaded its once 450-strong inventory of 737 Max puts the company on track reach its goal of delivering half those jets by year end.
Boeing had continued manufacturing 737 Max amid much of the grounding, accumulating about 450 undelivered jets by late last year.
In October 2020, the Chicago-based airframer’s executives said the company aimed to deliver about half those 450 aircraft before the end of 2021, and the “majority” of the balance in 2022.
The US Federal Aviation Administration lifted the grounding in November 2020. Regulators in Canada, Europe, Latin America and elsewhere followed.
Boeing resumed 737 Max deliveries in December, handing over 27 of the jets that month. It has delivered another 62 since the start of 2021, bringing to 89 the number of deliveries since the FAA cleared the jet.
Some of those aircraft might have rolled off Boeing’s production lines in recent months. But more than 80 completed first flight amid the grounding, making them part of the 450-strong inventory.
US carriers American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines have received the vast majority of recent Max deliveries – 67 jets, according to Cirium.
Boeing has also, since late last year, delivered Max to airlines in Canada, Latin America and Europe, data shows.
|Boeing’s 737 Max deliveries since December 2020|
|Carrier||Number of aircraft|
|AMK Aircraft Ltd||1|
|Unannounced non-commercial customer||1|
|Source: Cirium fleets data|
Despite the pace of deliveries, the Max’s return lost momentum in recent weeks after Boeing recommended airlines remove some jets from service due an electric issue.
Boeing has disclosed few details about the issue, other than to say it issued service bulletins focused “on ensuring a sufficient ground path in the flight deck of affected airplanes”.
The FAA has described the issue as involving the jet’s “back-up power control unit”.
American Airlines said the issue involves “recently delivered” Max.
All the 89 Max that Boeing delivered since December are in storage with airline customers, Cirium shows.
Boeing’s combined stockpile of undelivered aircraft now stands at 461, including 357 737 Max, 84 787s, ten 767-based KC-46 military tankers, two 747-8s and eight 777s, according to Cirium.
Those aircraft have completed their first flights but have not been delivered, making them what Cirium head of global consultancy Rob Morris calls “undelivered inventory”.
Boeing has been sitting on a large inventory of 787s following a decision to halt deliveries of that type after October last year. The move stemmed from a skin-flatness issue at the aft of the jets’ fuselage, where fuselage sections join, Boeing said.
The company resumed 787 deliveries in March, handing two of the jets to United.