Boeing has had some good news recently, including a surge in deliveries, but it still has some key short-term goals to take care of.
Earlier this year, Boeing had to tackle two separate production issues, involving the 737. These had to do with discrepancies that Spirit Aerosystems, a tier-1 supplier, was responsible for. One of these had to do with the attachment of the vertical stabilizer, while the other involved the rear pressure bulkhead.
These problems forced Boeing to revise its target for 2023 737 deliveries downward. Originally, the goal was to deliver 400 737s of all types (including military models) in the year. These issues forced Boeing to revise this goal to 375 deliveries.
But more recently, things have been going better. In November, Boeing delivered a total of 56 aircraft, including 46 737s. The American manufacturer only needs to deliver another 24 737s in December, to hit its delivery goal of 375 narrowbodies.
Boeing, Deliveries, China, and Production Targets
Even better, if Boeing matches the 737 deliveries it made in December last year, it will beat its original 400-aircraft target. Boeing also wants to deliver 70 787s this year, and it is 8 planes away from that. It delivered 6 of them in November, plus four freighters: two 777s and two 767s.
All this comes after November’s Dubai Airshow, where Boeing did surprisingly well in terms of new orders. And in the beginning of this month, Boeing got some more encouraging news, this time from China.
The country’s aviation authorities are reportedly considering to “unfreeze” orders of new Boeing aircraft, after several years of tensions. China is a huge aviation market, that Boeing had been unofficially locked out of. This is even though Boeing maintains facilities in the country, for passenger-to-freighter conversions, for example.
But despite its deliveries and other encouraging news, Boeing also has a few upcoming worries. The manufacturer recently informed its suppliers that its plans to ramp up 737 production will need to wait. From February next year, Boeing now plans to start making 42 737s per month. The original plan was for this to happen before the end of 2023.
This will impact the number of 737 deliveries that Boeing will be able to pursue next year. Boeing is also pushing back other production increases that it planned for later in 2024. With Airbus ramping up A320neo family production quickly, Boeing has to follow suit, to stay competitive in terms of delivery slots.