Both Airbus and Boeing have released their Orders and Deliveries results for April 2023, with the European planemaker outperforming its US rival during the first quarter of the year.
However, Boeing was not far behind the European Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and is even ahead in other areas.
Orders far and few between for Airbus
Throughout April 2023, Airbus booked only five orders and delivered 54 aircraft.
While one of those orders, a contract to purchase a single Airbus A330-800neo, provided a desperately needed boost to the whole A330neo program, it was the only wide-body aircraft order in the manufacturer’s latest Orders and Deliveries update. The European OEM has already delivered seven of the 12 A330-800neo in its backlog and handed over 92 of 277 A330-900neo aircraft ordered by customers since the program was announced in July 2014
The remaining four aircraft were split into two separate orders from undisclosed customers in April 2023.
In terms of deliveries, Airbus did not deviate far from the number of aircraft it shipped to airlines in March 2023, with 54 delivered in April 2023 compared to 61 aircraft during the previous month. Deliveries were driven by narrow-body aircraft, mainly the A321neo (24 aircraft), A320neo (17), A220-300 (six), and a single A319neo. The remaining deliveries were two A330-900neos, delivered respectively to Condor Airlines and Cebu Pacific, as well as two A350-900s to Air China, one A350-900 to China Eastern Airlines, and one aircraft of the same type to Ethiopian Airlines.
Boeing’s 737 MAX production issues
After Spirit AeroSystems, a Tier 1 supplier for both Airbus and Boeing, discovered that a non-standard manufacturing procedure had been used on the 737 MAX, Boeing informed customers that some deliveries would be delayed starting April 2023.
The latest Orders & Deliveries numbers provided by Boeing have reflected that, with the planemaker delivering 26 aircraft in April 2023, compared to 64 in March 2023. 53 of the 64 aircraft were the 737 MAX and one P8 Poseidon, a 737 military derivative that was also affected by the problem. In April 2023, Boeing delivered only 18 737 MAX and one P8 Poseidon.
The non-standard manufacturing procedure affects the 737 MAX family as well as the P8 Poseidon, except for the 737 MAX-9. According to the manufacturer’s estimates, the snag will remove approximately 9,000 seats from airlines’ summer schedules.
In total, Boeing delivered 26 aircraft, including one 767F, a single 777F, and six Boeing 787s (three 787-9 and 787-10, respectively), a number that is much lower than the highs recorded in April 2023. However, the eight wide-body deliveries, including the two freighter models currently produced by the OEM, were just one short of the number delivered in March 2023, when Boeing delivered nine twin-aisle jets.
Still, Boeing managed to finalize agreements for 34 aircraft in April 2023. A large portion of these orders were for the 737 MAX (16 aircraft), yet it also secured orders for the 777F (one), 787-8 (two), and 787-9 (15). Out of the 34, only five aircraft were assigned to an identifiable customer, namely an order for two 737 MAX from Luxair and three 737 MAXs from BOC Aviation, a Singapore-based aircraft lessor. In March 2023, Boeing booked 60 orders.