US planemaker Boeing delivered 17 jets in April, before it announced it would once again suspend deliveries of its 737 MAX workhorse jet due to electrical grounding issues.
Boeing successfully delivered four 737 MAX jets in April before the suspension took place, just five months after the planemaker was given the green light to resume MAX deliveries after its two-year recertification battle on the aircraft.
Of the four MAX deliveries, three went to Southwest Airlines and one to Air Lease Corporation.
Additionally, Boeing delivered nine 787 Dreamliners, two 767s and two 777 freighters, bringing its total year-to-date deliveries to 94 aircraft.
Boeing also secured 25 new aircraft orders in April, 20 of which were for the 737 MAX, despite the plane’s current faults.
Over the month, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise entered an agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 14 MAX jets, while Air Lease Corporation signed on for another three. The other three MAX orders went to undisclosed buyers.
As previously reported, the remaining five orders secured by Boeing in April were for five 777 freighters, made by Azerbaijani cargo airline Silk Way West Airlines.
In the same month, European rival Airbus racked up 48 new aircraft orders, and successfully completed 45 deliveries.
Boeing also announced that it lost 17 of its 737 MAX orders due to cancellations in the month of April, and bagged a total net positive of eight new orders after cancellations and conversions.
Boeing said its official backlog fell to 4,045 aircraft orders in April, from 4,054 aircraft orders in March.
Boeing announced in late April that it would officially halt future deliveries on its embattled 737 MAX jets until it has resolved the numerous electrical faults that have been located within the jet’s cockpit.
Simultaneously, the US Federal Aviation Administration released an airworthiness directive stipulating the grounding of 109 in-service 737 MAX jets around the world.
The directive stated that all affected jets must “remain on the ground while Boeing continues to develop a proposed fix” to the multiple electrical faults located in the jets’ cockpit.
The electrical faults involve a lapse in the grounding capabilities of some electrical circuits located in the cockpit. Grounding capabilities are vital in order to maintain a user’s safety in the event of a surge of voltage that could otherwise result in a shock or electrocution.
The fault was initially thought to be contained to the cockpit’s backup power control system.
However, the FAA stated that “subsequent analysis and testing showed the issue could involve additional systems”, including the standby power control unit, a circuit breaker panel, and main instrument panel.
In a conference call with analysts, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun stated he was unsure exactly when the mechanical problems with the MAX will be fixed, and confirmed that no new MAX aircraft will be delivered until the problem is appropriately solved.
Boeing has not confirmed how many built, but as-yet undelivered, MAX aircraft are affected by the manufacturing faults.