After a 20-month long grounding led by two extremely fatal air crashes, Boeing‘s (BA) 737 MAX aircraft was eventually certified safe for flying by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November 2020. The decision was reached after a series of stringent investigations and regulatory interventions.
Interestingly, the approval seems to have positively impacted Boeing‘s numbers so far in 2021, especially orders and deliveries pertaining to its beleaguered 737 MAX jets.
How Has 737 Max Performed So Far in 2021?
As the 737 Max is now certified safe for flying again, airliners and aircraft operators across the world have steadily started to rely on the aircraft again as it is burns lesser fuel and has a lower cost of maintenance compared to its counterparts. So far in 2021, Boeing has witnessed quite an impressive response for its 737 aircraft, which was inconceivable a year back.
In January, Boeing delivered 26 737 jets worldwide. In March, an U.S.-based investment firm 777 Partners ordered 24 of Boeing‘s 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with an option to purchase 60 more. Toward the end of March, Boeing secured a $12.5-billion deal at catalogue prices from Southwest Airlines. Also, during the same month, United Airlines placed an order for 25 additional Max jets.
Aircraft Parts Suppliers Poised to Benefit
Earlier, the regulatory approval in Boeing‘s favor brought a huge sigh of relief for 737’s parts suppliers as their businesses were heavily plagued over the 20-month period. Notably, the suppliers had also been suffering owing to COVID-19 impacts on commercial aerospace, which forced airline companies to cut down production numbers.
On a brighter note, orders for Boeing‘s 737 jets are slowly picking up and are expected to improve as vaccine distribution on a global scale continues to pick up, encouraging people to return to the skies.
Such revival will significantly boost aircraft suppliers, especially Spirit AeroSystems SPR that earns a major chunk of its revenues from Boeing by producing fuselage, pylons, thrust reverser, wing leading edges and engine nacelles for 737 Max. Another major supplier, Triumph Group TGI, is expected to benefit from this revival as it provides composite environmental control systems (ECS) ducting and floor panels for 737 Max jets.
Will Airbus Lose to Boeing?
Boeing’s prosperity might drag down its arch rival Airbus EADSY. Notably, Boeing started 2021 on a solid note, with its January 737 deliveries of 26 having exceeded the delivery figure of its competitor – Airbus A320neo. Moreover, as of February 2021, Airbus delivered a total of 25 A320neos, while Boeing delivered a total of 39 737 Max jets.
It is imperative to mention in this context that Airbus overtook Boeing in the race for supremacy in 2020, after the latter witnessed a stupendous downfall post the 737’s grounding. However, as airliners have slowly begun to instill faith in flying the 737, as is evident from the year-to-date delivery numbers, this might pose a threat to Airbus’ A320neo aircraft and eventually Boeing might be able to reclaim its largest jet maker title globally.
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