Boeing will remarket some 737 MAX aircraft built for Chinse customers but cannot be delivered because the country’s aviation regulator has not cleared the planes to fly, the planemaker’s chief financial officer Brian West has revealed.
Speaking at a Morgan Stanley Annual Laguna Conference on September 15, 2022, West explained that it is currently unclear when the first Boeing 737 MAX will return to service in China. Thus, the US plane maker may need to remarket some of the planes for other large markets.
“Both the customers in China and the regulators did exactly what they said they were going to do and in February [2022, ed.-], we had customers doing flight tests. But then everything stopped because [China, ed.-] had to deal with the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions. Right now, we are constantly communicating with our customers and the regulators. And we stand ready, that when they’re ready to pick up where they left off to finish that work, we are ready,” West said.
“I can’t dictate the timing fully, they can. […] We have deferred decisions on those planes for a long time. We can defer that decision forever. We will begin to remarket some of those airplanes that were otherwise earmarked for our Chinese customers,” the CFO added.
West also stated that, as of July 2022, the backlog for undelivered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft stood at around 290, with half of this number dedicated to serving the Chinese market.
“These customers are incredibly important […] but we’ve deferred this decision for a long time. The good news is we’ve got confidence and conviction that we can remarket them. So, we have to navigate our way through that,” West concluded.