Airplane maker The Boeing Company (BA) released data on Tuesday, May 11, showing that its April aircraft deliveries fell compared to the previous month as supply chain snarls and labor issues continue to cause a slowdown in customer handovers.
- Boeing made 35 commercial aircraft deliveries in April, down from 41 in March.
- The company has delivered fewer planes than its French rival Airbus so far this year.
- Supply chain disruptions and labor disputes continue to pose delivery challenges for aircraft manufacturers.
- Boeing has not delivered any of its 787 Dreamliner jets since May 2021 after regulators raised concerns over a number of manufacturing issues.
The company, which recently announced that it is relocating its corporate headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, from Chicago, delivered 35 planes in April 2022, down from 41 in March but up from 17 in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, Boeing's gross orders for April fell to 46 from 53 in March.
In the first four months of the year, Boeing has delivered 130 aircraft, while French rival Airbus SE (EADSF) has delivered 188 aircraft over the same period. Despite passenger traffic levels normalizing after the height of the pandemic, aircraft manufacturers face continued headwinds from ongoing supply chain disruptions and labor disputes.
"Both Airbus and Boeing are experiencing rising challenges in delivering aircraft on time, primarily due to supply chain and labor issues," said Air Lease Corporation (AL) CEO John Plueger during the company's earnings call last week.
Throughout April, Boeing delivered 28 of its flagship 737 MAX jets, along with three 777s, two 767s, an older model 737, and a 747 freighter plane. Of the notable handovers, Irish budget carrier Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAOF) received five MAX jets, Air Lease received four MAX jets, while low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) took ownership of three MAXs. Parcel delivery and logistics giant United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) received the 747 freighter.
787 Dreamliner Deliveries Still Paused
Boeing has not delivered any of its popular 787 Dreamliner jets since May 2021 after regulators raised concerns over several manufacturing issues. However, aviation publication Simple Flying reported in April that Boeing has quietly told customers and suppliers that it expects to resume Dreamliner handovers in the second half of 2022. Wall Street is even more optimistic, with analysts projecting 11 of the 787 jets to make their way to customers this quarter.
The Dreamliner setback has partially been offset by growth in Boeing's cargo business. Since the pandemic began, the company has seen 22 of its total lines convert passenger aircraft into freight planes, up from 12 in the years leading up to the COVID-19 health crisis. Moreover, Qatar's national carrier Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. signed up in January for 50 of Boeing's newest dual-aisle aircraft, the 777X (cargo version), also known as the 777-8F. More recently, German carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKF) said that it would purchase seven of the jets.
Boeing stock, which is a Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component, has declined 34% since the start of the year and nearly 43% over the past 12 months as the company navigates its way out of several tumultuous years of challenges.
Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of publication.