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Airbus widens aircraft delivery lead over Boeing as Max crisis deepens

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A Boeing 737 Max aircraft during a display at the Farnborough International Airshow, in Farnborough, Britain, July 20, 2022.
Peter Cziborra | Reuters

Boeing handed over 27 airplanes to its customers last month as it continues to struggle with quality-control problems and production delays that have frustrated the CEOs of some of its biggest airline customers.

So far this year, Boeing has handed over 54 planes, while Airbus has widened its lead over its main rival, delivering 79 planes in the first two months of 2024.

Delayed Boeing planes have been difficult for airline leaders. Southwest Airlines, which flies only Boeing 737s, on Tuesday said it would trim capacity plans this year because of fewer Boeing Max deliveries and that it will have to reevaluate its 2024 financial estimates. United Airlines earlier this year said it was taking the 737 Max 10, which hasn’t yet been certified, out of its fleet plans.

Boeing’s February deliveries included 17 Max jetliners and seven wide-body 787-9 Dreamliners. Deliveries are important to aircraft manufacturers because customers pay the bulk of the aircraft’s price when they receive the plane.

Boeing logged 15 gross orders for new planes in February, while Airbus sold just two. And customers aren’t abandoning Boeing because of its recent struggles. Last week American Airlines announced a 260-narrow-body-airplane order split between Boeing, Airbus and Embraer.

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