Boeing delivers its 1,500th 737 MAX to Ryanair amid production slowdown 

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Boeing has announced its latest set of delivery figures – a total of just 24 new planes during April 2024, representing the company’s slowest month for new aircraft deliveries since February 2022. Notably, though, the manufacturer also marked the month with the delivery of its 1,500th 737 MAX family aircraft to loyal customer, Ryanair. 

Out of the 24 new aircraft delivered, three were 737 MAX 8-200s for the European low-cost giant, with the same number of MAX 8s going to Air India Express. The Ryanair planes bring that carrier’s fleet of MAX series aircraft to 150 aircraft in total, with a further 60 yet to be delivered.     

Elsewhere, the company delivered four 787s during April 2024 – two to All Nippon Airways, one to Hawaiian Airlines, and another to Juneyao Airlines of China. Additionally, two 767 freighters were delivered to UPS, while two 777Fs were delivered, to Eva Air and Qatar Airways respectively. 

The low delivery rate during the month is largely attributable to Boeing’s decision to scale back production on its 737 MAX line. This comes amid a swathe of quality control issues that have befallen the Virginia-based company since the Alaska Air 737 MAX 9 blowout in January 2024.  

Following that incident, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the global 737 MAX 9 fleet, a total of 171 aircraft. Once an investigation found the cause to be locking bolts missing from an emergency exit plug, the type was permitted to fly again. However, since the FAA became involved, it has been disclosed that Boeing has been the subject of 32 whistleblower complaints filed with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration over the past few years, in relation to quality control issues at various Boeing plants.   

Additionally, US regulators are currently examining multiple filed allegations that Boeing employees falsified inspection records on the 787 Dreamliner production line.  

In terms of new airplane orders, the company said that it received orders for just seven new aircraft in April 2024: two 777-9s and two 787-10s for an as-yet undisclosed customer, and an order of three 787-9s for El Al.  

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The company saw orders for 33 new airplanes canceled in April 2024. 29 of them 737 MAXs slated for Lynx Air, a Canadian low-cost carrier that ceased operations in February 2024 due to mounting financial pressures. Another unnamed customer canceled orders for two 777-9s and two 787-10s.  

Ultimately this resulted in Boeing recording a net negative 26 new orders for the month, taking into account the seven gains and the 33 aircraft canceled.  

By April 30, 2024, Boeing’s order backlog had increased to 5,646 aircraft, up from 5,668 at the end of March 2024. Again, this is largely attributed to the 737 production slowdown. This backlog comprises 4,340 737 MAXs, 99 767s, 489 777s, and 718 787s. 

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