With the plethora of aircraft orders made for the benefit of Boeing, we ask the following question: Are they back in business?
After a few years of turbulence with the 737 MAX crisis, COVID-19, issues with the 787, and delays to the 777X program, are they finally getting back on their feet?
This piece will attempt to tackle this question on a multi-faceted level. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
2023’s Orders for Boeing Show Strong Start…
2023 has been a good year for Boeing so far, especially on the aircraft orders front.
Back in February, the American planemaker received an order from Air India for 190 737 MAXs, 20 787-9 Dreamliners, and 10 777Xs.
Then already this month, they have received orders for 15 737 MAX 9s from Greater Bay Airlines, seven 787-9 Dreamliners from Lufthansa, 39 firm, and 33 options from Riyadh Air for 787s and 49 Dreamliners from SAUDIA.
Looking ahead to the future at the Paris Air Show in June, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium is considering placing an order at that show for Jet Airways, with 200 units up for grabs.
So, with this all in mind, it hasn’t been a bad start to the year for Boeing.
787 Issues Ironed Out?
Back in February, it was revealed that Boeing paused deliveries of its 787 aircraft amid errors in documentation regarding the aircraft’s forward pressure bulkhead.
This particular piece of the 787 Dreamliners’ fuselage is manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems (“Spirit”).
Spirit has been made aware that the manufacturer has since temporarily halted deliveries of the type whilst the investigation and resolution are adopted.
As part of this pause in deliveries, Boeing has thus notified the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) of the discovered analysis error, and as such, the deliveries of the type will not be resumed until the FAA is fully satisfied that the error has been rectified.
However, deliveries have resumed this week, with Lufthansa receiving a new 787-9 Dreamliner.
So, with this in mind, it does appear that issues have been ironed out and that Boeing is looking to continue delivering aircraft without any more snags.
The Next Challenge: The 777X EIS…
The next challenge for Boeing now that the 737 MAX and 787 are continuing deliveries is its newest project: The 777X.
Entry-into-service dates have had delay after delay currently, with the recent issues being around the propulsion on the GE9X late last year.
It’s been argued that this is what influenced Lufthansa’s decision to order 15 more Airbus A350s and seven 787-9 Dreamliners instead.
Right now, Boeing is targeting 2025 for the first delivery of the 777X. But if the certification process takes longer than expected, we could see that date pushed back further.
Boeing Are Slowly But Surely Getting Back to Normalcy…
Boeing is slowly but surely returning to some form of normalcy, with delivery numbers increasing month-on-month.
In a release from the manufacturer earlier this week about its Commercial Aircraft Finance Market Outlook, Rich Hammond, the VP of Customer Finance, remains optimistic about what 2023 holds for them:
“With production and delivery increases and the reopening of certain regional markets, we forecast aircraft financing needs to reach near pre-pandemic levels in 2023”.
“This positive trend reaffirms that our industry’s fundamentals are strong and aircraft financiers and investors are well positioned as travel continues to recover.”
As quite a lot of aircraft business is with lessors, this represents a strong step in a return to normalcy for Boeing. And that is vitally important in terms of successes later on this year and beyond.
What we can see from all of this is that Boeing is having a really good year so far, and they are progressing well with its own internal recovery.
Under the guidance of CEO Dave Calhoun, the manufacturer will no doubt want to continue proving itself in terms of aircraft sales, resiliency, and more.
From the perspective of the order, it’s going to be interesting to see what Boeing pulls out of its hat at the Paris Air Show, especially with the high level of orders announced already.
In terms of its aircraft projects, it’s going to be interesting to see how the 777X is going to fare out of this and whether we could see more orders for that aircraft type later down the road.
But for now, we do know one thing. Boeing is trying, and the efforts are working well at the moment.