Following a brief pause, Boeing is once again delivering inventoried 737 MAX aircraft.
“In fact, we have begun to deliver airplanes – reworked airplanes out of inventory. So it’s a very important proof point and we will proceed,” said Brian West, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Vice President of Finance at Boeing, during the Wolfe Research Global Transportation & Industrials Conference on May 25, 2023. “More work to do, but there is a level of confidence with the team,” West continued.
Boeing paused some deliveries of the 737 MAX once Spirit AeroSystems, a Tier 1 supplier of the plane maker, informed the company that an improper manufacturing procedure was used on the aircraft in April 2023. The “non-standard manufacturing process was used on two fittings in the aft section of certain 737-7, 737-8, and 737 military derivative aircraft, namely the P-8 Poseidon,” Boeing previously said.
According to ch-aviation.com data, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has now delivered 20 737 MAXs as of May 2023.
West once again reiterated that despite the pause, Boeing still expects to deliver between 400 and 450 aircraft of the type, hitting the 40 aircraft per month mark in H2 2023. “We have our sights set on for the 737 getting to 50 per month from today’s 31,” the CFO added.
During its Q1 2023 financial results presentation, Spirit AeroSystems estimated that the overall cost of the production hiccup would have a negative impact of around $31 million on its full-year gross profit. Meanwhile, Boeing estimated that 75% of inventoried 737 MAXs would have to be reworked before they can be shipped off to customers.
The CFO was unable to provide more information on when Boeing would be able to deliver the 737 MAX to Chinese customers, but has said that out of the 97 aircraft of the type that were grounded, 61 are back flying.
“We stand ready to support our customers in China when they make that decision,” West noted.