Boeing delivered eighty-nine 737s during the first quarter of the year compared with the 132 it shipped a year earlier, as the company halted shipments of 737 Max narrowbodies in mid-March due to a worldwide grounding of the model following two fatal crashes in less than five months. Commercial airplane deliveries for the quarter fell from 184 last year to 149, including thirty-six 787s, ten 777s, twelve 767s, and two 747s.
Boeing said it does not reveal delivery expectations for any single quarter or month, but a spokesman acknowledged that the Max grounding “did in fact have an impact.” Nearly half of last year’s 580 deliveries of 737s involved the new Max family, suggesting that plans called for first quarter 2019 Max deliveries to significantly exceed those of the 737NG.
Net orders, meanwhile, fell to 95 aircraft in the first quarter from 180 during the same period last year. The company’s 2018 order book showed net sales of 893 airplanes, including 203 in December alone.
The 737 Max achieved a sales milestone last December, surpassing 5,000 net orders with 181 new sales during the month. For all of 2018, the 737 program logged 675 net orders.
In an effort to address ever-lengthening lead times for 737s, Boeing had planned to increase narrowbody delivery rates from 52 per month to 57 by mid-year. On Friday, however, it announced plans to lower output to 42 by the middle of this month due to the grounding.