The resumption of 737 Max deliveries in December gave Boeing a small measure of redemption in an otherwise miserable year that saw it deliver a total of 157 commercial airplanes, compared with 380 in 2019 and 806 in 2018. In reporting its 2020 delivery totals Tuesday, Boeing acknowledged that quality issues involving the 787 limited deliveries of the widebody to just four in the fourth quarter and 53 for the year, compared with 158 in 2019.
“The resumption of 737 Max deliveries in December was a key milestone as we strengthen safety and quality across our enterprise,” said Greg Smith, Boeing executive vice president of enterprise operations and CFO. “We also continued comprehensive inspections of our 787 airplanes to ensure they meet our highest quality standards prior to delivery. While limiting our 787 deliveries for the quarter, these comprehensive inspections represent our focus on safety, quality, and transparency, and we're confident that we're taking the right steps for our customers and for the long-term health of the 787 program.”
Boeing managed to deliver twenty-seven 737 Max jets during December and a single P-8 Poseidon, the maritime military derivative of the 737-800NG. P-8s also accounted for 14 of the 41 Boeing 737s during the quarter. Of the 27 Maxes, ten went to American Airlines, eight to United Airlines, one to Copa Airlines, four to U.S.-based lessor CIT Aerospace, and three to Ireland’s SMBC Aviation Capital.