Ryanair, Southwest, United take biggest hit from FAA cap on 737 MAX production

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 16, 2024, © Leeham News: When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) put a freeze on Boeing 737 production rates at the currently approved 38/mo level, LNA revealed that hundreds of orders will face delivery delays. Boeing faces even greater delays than the 38/mo production level suggests, however.

As LNA reported, and confirmed by several aerospace analysts, Boeing’s true production rate for the 737 was 31 per month and even lower—as little as around 20 per month in some periods. The balance of deliveries came from its large inventory of 737 MAXes built during the first nine months of the 21-month grounding of the aircraft.

With Boeing’s full year 2023 delivery data now available, LNA looked at 2024 deliveries that were planned before the Jan. 5 Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX emergency door plug blew off Flight 1282 on climb out from Portland (OR).

The incident was characterized as an accident due to the nature of the event and damage to the airplane. Nobody died and there were only minor injuries. The decompression at about 16,000 ft. damaged the door surround at row 26 on the left side. The door plug separated from the airplane and was found in a wooded area a few days later. There was damage throughout the 737’s cabin and the cockpit door was ripped off its mountings.

The pilots landed the airplane a few minutes later in Portland.

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