By Scott Hamilton
Sept. 15, 2022, © Leeham News: The indefinite delay in China authorizing Boeing to deliver 737 MAXes to airlines led Boeing to slowly remarket more than that are 100 stored.
CEO David Calhoun said today that Boeing can no longer wait for China’s OK with the large inventory of aircraft that went into storage when the MAX was grounded in March 2019. Boeing continued building the MAX on the assumption that the grounding would be a short one. When by the end of 2019, there was no end in sight for recertification, production was halted with 450 MAXes built but stored. About 140 of these were destined for Chinese airlines and lessors. Lessors have been allowed to accept some deliveries as long as the airplanes were delivered to customers outside China, LNA previously reported.
Speaking on the sidelines of today’s conference organized by the US Chamber of Commerce, Calhoun said “We are not delivering airplanes to China. We certainly wish we could. We are remarketing a small portion of them. We continue to defer production of any Chinese airplanes. We don’t really carry any risk. Then depending on what we read, we will just keep remarketing more.”
Calhoun said he is not worried about the market for MAXes, outside of China. “I know we can move them, especially with the supply chain issues that both manufacturers are having.”
Calhoun said he has to be pessimistic about a break though in trade relations between China and the US. “I’ve predicted more progress than I’ve succeeded in getting,” he said. “It is what it is. The geopolitical situation is rough. It is tough. The good news for me is that there was a moment when there was a giant risk for the company. I don’t feel that anymore. We’ve got to them back if we want to be world leaders.”
Earlier this week, LNA spoke with a consultant with a global consulting firm who leads the company’s trade relations section. He had a downcast view of any near-term change in the current US-China trade relations. Calhoun said today that improvement may be a year or two away.
The dour outlook contrasts with that of Robert Martin, the CEO of BOC Aviation, who told LNA last month he saw improved relations occurring by year end.