Boeing Scores First Monthly Delivery Win Over Airbus Since 2019

Boeing Co. logged more monthly deliveries than Airbus SE for the first time in two years, as the 737 Max began its recovery from a lengthy grounding that sent the U.S. planemaker spiraling into crisis.

Last month’s handovers of 26 jetliners included 21 of the best-selling Max, Boeing reported on its website Tuesday. The company’s only orders were the final four sales of its 747-8 freighter, to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc., which will close out the jumbo jet’s half-century-long production run.

Airbus recorded no sales and delivered 21 planes in January, a traditionally slow month for the aircraft manufacturers. The European company’s tally included 16 of the A321neo, which competes head-on with the Max in the lucrative narrow-body sector.

The rivals are scrapping for deals and searching for signs that the Covid-19 pandemic is easing after a historic collapse in international air travel. Wide-body jets such as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 have been hit particularly hard as would-be passengers faced closed borders and long quarantines.

Boeing Scores First Monthly Delivery Win Over Airbus Since 2019

Of the two companies, Boeing faces a far tougher situation because of manufacturing flaws with the 787 and a 20-month grounding of the Max after two crashes killed hundreds of people. Customers gained leverage to scrap or renegotiate their Max contracts and to delay deliveries of the 787. The Chicago-based company hasn’t shipped any of the carbon-fiber jet since October, a gap that could extend through March as Boeing and U.S. regulators hammer out plans for inspections and repairs.

In one sign that the 737 Max is regaining its footing since U.S. regulators lifted the grounding in November, Boeing recorded just two cancellations for the plane in January. Another 11 of the jets were removed from the official backlog because of a U.S. accounting requirement, although the orders remain on Boeing’s books.

Separately, Singapore Airlines Ltd. said Tuesday that it would convert some orders for the 787 to the larger 777X, boosting the prospects for a model whose planned debut is three years behind schedule.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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