Boeing and Airbus delivered 13 and 39 commercial jets in August 2020, compared to 18 and 42 deliveries, respectively, in the same month last year. With just 87 deliveries this year to date, Boeing is 189 shipments behind last year’s total for the first eight months of the year. Airbus delivered a total of 284 jets from January to August, compared to 500 during the same period last year. Boeing’s deliveries have suffered for many months in the aftermath of two 737 MAX crashes and the subsequent suspension of deliveries and grounding of the fleet. Deliveries of 737 MAX aircraft have been on hold since March 2019. Due to COVID-19, both manufacturers were forced to temporarily close down production facilities and have also laid off thousands of employees and announced significant production rate cuts. For the full year 2019, Boeing delivered 380 aircraft, while Airbus set a new all-time annual record, handing over 863 jets. Prior to this, Boeing had retained a deliveries lead over Airbus since 2012. In 2018, Boeing delivered 806 jets (763 in 2017), with Airbus handing over 800 (718 in 2017).
In August, Boeing delivered 13 aircraft, including two 737NGs, four 767s, three 777s and four 787s. Production of the 737 MAX was suspended from January of this year until the end of May. On May 27, Boeing announced it had resumed production of the 737 MAX in Renton. Aircraft are being built at a low rate. Boeing expects the 737 MAX production rate to gradually increase to 31 per month by the beginning of 2022, with further increases as market demand allows. Boeing has also announced that the 787 production rate is being reduced from 14 per month (rate at the start of the year) to just six per month during 2021. The combined 777/777X production rate will be reduced to two per month in 2021. Production rate assumptions have not changed for the 747 and 767 programs. Prior to the 737 MAX production suspension, Boeing was manufacturing the jet at a reduced rate of 42 per month. The company has built about 450 737 MAX jets during the grounding and is targeting delivery of more than half of those in the first 12 months following re-certification. While the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has repeatedly stated that it has no timetable for the aircraft’s return to service, the 737 MAX is expected to remain grounded at least until fall. Boeing currently hopes to get the 737 MAX flying again commercially by early 2021. In any case, it will be a few years before Boeing is able to hit the originally planned monthly production rate of 57 aircraft. Prior to the suspension of deliveries in March 2019, Boeing had produced and shipped 387 737 MAX jets.