Monday, 14 October, 2019

Boeing deliveries nearly halved in first nine months of 2019

Southwest Pilots Sue Boeing Over Alleged Lost Wages From MAX Grounding Southwest pilots sue Boeing for $100 million over lost wages from 737 MAX
Steven Clarke | 09 October, 2019, 14:06

Boeing Co secured the first converted order in months for one of its grounded 737 MAX planes, company data for September showed on Tuesday, as it reported that total deliveries for the first nine months of 2019 had nearly halved from a year earlier.

Over the first nine months of the year, Boeing delivered 302 airplanes, compared with 571 by Airbus.

September deliveries totaled 26 planes, compared to 87 in September 2018, and 78 in 2017.

Boeing delivered a total of 63 commercial aircraft in the third quarter of 2019, nose-diving by two-thirds from the figure of 193 a year ago.

In a move sure to cause tension between Boeing and arguably its best customer in the USA, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association filed suit against the planemaker today, alleging that Boeing misled the union when it claimed the 737 MAX flew just like its predecessor aircraft. It also alleges the grounding of the 737 MAX - which has resulted in thousands of flight cancellations at many airlines including Southwest - has reduced the pilots' opportunities for work.

The order by an anonymous customer was the first Max deal since June, when British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA announced its intent to buy 200 of the narrow-body jetliners.

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.

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Aviation regulators sought to play down talk of transatlantic divisions over safety changes to the 737 MAX, which was grounded after two crashes killed 346 people within five months. Boeing has repeatedly said it hopes to resume flights in the fourth quarter, which began on October 1.

"We will persist in exploring all legal options available to our organization, and vow to advocate on your behalf vigorously, " Chad Kleibscheidel, first vice president of Transport Workers Union Local 556 said in the memo.

Meanwhile, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency says it is still assessing proposed changes to Boeing software and has not found anything that would undermine hopes for a coordinated return to service.

The statement on deliveries came as Boeing faced fresh questions on its chances for winning regulatory approval in 2019 to resume flights on the MAX.

Southwest Airlines 737 MAX aircraft at Victorville, California.

Next year, Chicago-based Boeing will need to match its 2019 sales tally for the Dreamliner to avoid a steep cut in output from the record pace the company recently adopted as crisis engulfed the Max.

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