By Vincent Valery and Scott Hamilton
Jan. 5, 2023, © Leeham News: LNA wrote a year ago that resuming Boeing 787 deliveries was among the top 2022 priorities for the American OEM. Despite taking longer than envisioned (until August), the resumption of Dreamliner deliveries proved to be the high point of 2022 for Boeing Commercial Aviation (BCA).
The resumption of 737 MAX operations in China has still not materialized, and clearing the inventory of aircraft produced during the grounding is taking longer than envisioned. Boeing does not expect Chinese carriers to take delivery of their 140 737 MAXes for several years.
While Boeing launched the 777-8F, the 777X had another significant entry into service delay. The EIS is scheduled for 2025, around five years later than envisioned at the program launch in 2013. In October, a new problem with the giant GE9X engine emerged. Analysis is underway by GE. Whether there will be any additional impact on EIS remains to be seen.
Certification of the 737 MAX 7 and MAX 10 appears to be on a path for success. In November, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington State proposed extending the deadline from year-end 2022 for compliance with legislative requirements to install a new system called EICAS. EICAS monitors the 737’s systems and guides pilots in handling faults. EICAS is not on the already-certified MAX 8 and MAX 9. The legislation was passed with the assumption that the MAX 7 and 10 would be certified before the effective date.
However, the factors that most impacted BCA’s ability to generate cash flows were supply chain issues and labor shortages. Boeing has still not stabilized production on the 737 line at the announced goal of 31 per month.
In light of all the above, what lies ahead for Boeing in 2023?