Air Europa and an unidentified customer cancelled orders for three Boeing jets in January, and the company’s deliveries slipped to only 27 aircraft during the month.

The period was a difficult one for Boeing due to an in-flight 737 Max door-plug failure that raised renewed questions about the safety and quality of the company’s production system.

Boeing's Renton 737 Max production site

Source: The Seattle Times, Ellen Banner, pool reports

Boeing has slowed 737 Max production in recent weeks following an in-flight door-plug failure and renewed safety oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration

On the bright side, Boeing in January resumed delivering 737 Max to Chinese airlines, according to order and delivery details released by the airframer on 13 February.

The company calls its January activity “modest”, though the numbers reflect a significant slowdown from prior months.

Boeing landed new orders in January for only three jets – all 737 Max deals from customers Boeing declines to name. That is down from 371 orders taken by Boeing in December 2023.

In January Air Europa cancelled an order for one 787-9, while an unnamed customer nixed (axed, rescinded) orders for two 737 Max 8s, leaving Boeing’s net new orders in January at zero.

Deliveries also declined, with Boeing handing over just 27 jets last month, down from 67 in December 2023. Delivery activity often slows at the beginning of a year.

The 27 aircraft delivered included 25 737 Max.

Notably, two of those narrowbody jets went to China Southern Airlines and one went to China’s Kunming Airlines, marking Boeing’s resumption of deliveries to Chinese carriers following a pause that lasted most of the five years since regulators grounded 737 Max in March 2019.

Other customers to receive new 737 Max from Boeing in January included Air India (3), Air Lease (2), Akasa Air (1), Ethiopian Airlines (1), Flydubai (1), Gol (1), Southwest Airlines (2), SunExpress (2), Ryanair (6) and United Airlines (3).

Boeing delivered two widebody jets in January: one 787-9 taken by lessor AerCap and one 767-based KC-46 military refuelling jet delivered internally within Boeing from its commercial to defence division.

The activity left Boeing with 5,599 jets in its backlog at the end of January, including 4,308 737s, 103 767s, 464 777s and 724 787s.