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Boeing Gets First 737 MAX Order Since Crash as Other Deliveries Halved

Boeing Gets First 737 MAX Order Since Crash as Other Deliveries Halved
(Dezzor/Dreamstime)

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 01:19 PM

Boeing Co. secured the first new order in months for one of its grounded 737 MAX planes in September, the company said on Tuesday, as it reported total deliveries for the first nine months of 2019 that were just half those a year ago.

Regulators grounded the 737 MAX worldwide following a second fatal crash in March that killed all 157 people on board an Ethiopian Airlines plane, and is fighting to get the jet back in service later this year.

It said on Tuesday that an unidentified business jet customer had ordered one 737 MAX jet.

Boeing's net order tally, including cancellations, was a negative 84 for the first nine months of 2019, also hit by the bankruptcy of India's Jet Airways, which resulted in Boeing removing 210 aircraft from its order backlog.

European rival Airbus in contrast has 127 net orders this year and is within reach of its full-year goal of 880-890 deliveries despite factory snags.

Boeing (BA) said deliveries fell 47% to 302 aircraft in the first nine months of 2019. Deliveries totaled 26 aircraft in September, down from 87 a year earlier.

Prior to the MAX grounding, Boeing, which delivered 806 aircraft in 2018, was targeting 900 aircraft deliveries this year. 

Meanwhile, U.S. and European Union regulators said on Tuesday they were still reviewing changes Boeing made to 737 MAX software after two fatal crashes, a development that raised questions about how quickly the grounded aircraft can return to service.

The ongoing safety review means a key 737 MAX certification test flight is unlikely before November, two sources said. Boeing has repeatedly said it hopes to resume flights in the fourth quarter, which began Oct. 1.

Regulators sought to play down talk of transatlantic divisions over safety changes to the 737 MAX, which was grounded worldwide in March after two crashes killed 346 people within five months.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement it has a “transparent and collaborative relationship” with other civil aviation authorities as it continues its 737 MAX safety review. Its European Union counterpart said it was in “continuous contact” with both the FAA and Boeing.

“We do not at this stage have any specific concerns resulting from that assessment that would mean that we could not agree to a coordinated return to service. We are in continuous contact with both the FAA and Boeing,” a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) spokeswoman said by email.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told Reuters in September the agency would need about a month following the yet-to-be scheduled certification test flight before the planes could return to service.

The FAA reiterated on Tuesday that it does not have a firm date for completing its review.

Among its changes, Being is addressing a flaw discovered in the software architecture of the 737 MAX flight-control system that involves using and receiving input from both flight control computers rather than one.

For decades, 737 models have used only one of the flight control computers for each flight, switching to the other computer on the following flight, Reuters reported in August.

FAA still needs to see Boeing’s “final system description” - a “500-ish page document that has the architecture of the flight control system and the changes that they have made” Dickson said last month. It then will need to complete an “integrated system safety analysis” and conduct pilot workload management scenarios.

Boeing plans to revise the 737 MAX software to take input from both angle-of-attack sensors in the anti-stall system linked to the two deadly crashes and has added additional safeguards.

Southwest Airlines Co is scheduling without the MAX until at least early January, pending regulatory approval for commercial flight. American Airlines Group and United Airlines have canceled MAX flights through part of December.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Boeing Co secured the first new order in months for one of its grounded 737 MAX planes in September, the company said.
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2019-19-08
Tuesday, 08 October 2019 01:19 PM
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