Boeing’s pace of 737 Max deliveries slowed again in February amid intense scrutiny over product quality.

However, the US airframer succeeded last month in accelerating narrowbody deliveries to customers in China, a country that had been essentially closed to new 737s until recently.

Boeing handed over 27 aircraft in February, the same number as in January, but still at a significantly slower pace than which it was delivering jets in 2023, the company said on 12 March.


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Ryanair was among airlines to receive new 737 Max aircraft from Boeing in February

February deliveries included only 18 737s, down from 25 in January, among them were 17 737 Maxs and one 737NG-based P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

Boeing’s 737 Max delivery pace has significantly slowed in recent months despite the company’s previous plans to be ramping up shipments of the CFM International Leap-1B-powered jets.

The airframer cooled its production pace after a mid-cabin door plug blew out of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 during a 5 January flight, sparking investigations by the the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration. The civil aviation regulator has prohibited Boeing from expanding 737 Max production.

Despite the slowdown, Boeing in February shipped six 737 Max aircraft to Chinese airlines – notable because the country’s carriers only started receiving new narrowbodies again in January. Those operators had halted deliveries for almost five years starting in March 2019, when regulators globally grounded the type.

As a result, Boeing has been sitting on a stockpile of 737 Max jets earmarked for Chinese airlines which it badly needs to clear those from its books.

In February, six Chinese airlines – 9 Air, Air China, China Southern Airlines, Donghai Airlines, Shandong Airlines and Xiamen Airlines – each received one 737 Max, Boeing says. The company had delivered two 737 Max to Chinese airlines in January.

Boeing’s February deliveries also included nine widebody jets, including seven 787-9s, of which Hawaiian Airlines received its first, Air Canada received one, Etihad Airways received three, and Korean Air and Turkish Airlines each took one.

Its other deliveries last month included one 767 Freighter received by FedEx and one 767-based KC-46 military refuelling jet.

The manufacturer landed new orders in February for 15 aircraft, including 10 737 Max and one 777F ordered by customers that Boeing declines to name, and four 787-9s for Royal Brunei Airlines. Boeing recorded no cancellations last month

Including accounting adjustments, Boeing ended February with 5,591 aircraft in its backlog, down from 5,599 at the end of January.