However, numbers are still lagging compared to September.
After a dip in October, Boeing’s delivery numbers are trending upward again. In November, the aerospace giant delivered 50 jets to customers around the world, up from 35 the month before. New airplane orders fell, however, coming in at 18 737 MAX’s and three 767s. Of course, that number will increase multiple times when December figures are in, given United Airlines pre-Christmas aircraft shopping spree.
After a 15-month stop to Dreamliner deliveries lifted in August, the manufacturer handed over a total of 51 planes in September. This, in turn, tied with numbers from June, which exceeded the 50-plane mark for the first time since March 2019, when the 737 MAX was first grounded. However, figures dropped again in October due to the OEM’s quality management system catching defects in the fuselage of the MAX and delaying deliveries as a result.
In November, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Qatar Airways all received two 787 Dreamliners each. United’s were the larger 787-10 variant, American’s the smaller 787-8, and Qatar’s the 787-9. United also took five MAXs in November – two -8s and three -9s. Meanwhile, low-cost giant Southwest received as many as ten 737 MAX 8 jets.
November saw a farewell to the Queen
Looking ahead, December’s production figures will also include a very high-profile departure – the last Boeing 747 jet to roll out from the final production line (FAL) in Everett. Boeing 747 number 1,574 will officially be delivered to its new owner, cargo specialist Atlas Air in January next year (given that flight tests are all in order). Meanwhile, Atlas Air took the second-to-last 747-8F to be operated for Kuehne+Nagel in November, as well as a 777F which it will fly for MSC Air Cargo. This brings the airfreight operator’s 747 fleet to 51 planes, while still awaiting the arrival of the last of the iconic quadjet, as well as one older 747-400F on lease.
Dreamliner deliveries back for 4th month in a row
Other than the all too well-known reasons behind the backlog of 737 MAX deliveries, Boeing has also suffered a prolonged stop to its Dreamliner deliveries due to quality control issues. In May 2021, engineers discovered that there were variations in the carbon fiber skin flatness and improperly sized gap fillers that could cause structural issues with the airframe. As a result, eight Dreamliners were immediately taken out of service, and subsequent controls revealed further issues which needed to be fixed before the FAA re-cleared the 787 for delivery at the beginning of August. That month, Boeing managed to ship off a 787-9 to Lufthansa and one 787-10 to Air France-KLM. In total, from August to November, Boeing delivered 21 Dreamliners.