Boeing resumes direct 787 Dreamliner deliveries to Chinese airlines, opening path for 737 Max

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In a significant development for Boeing, the aerospace giant has handed over a 787 Dreamliner directly to a Chinese airline for the first time since November 2019. This milestone, marked by the delivery of a Boeing 787-9 to Juneyao Airlines, could potentially pave the way for future deliveries of Boeing’s 737 Max, a key revenue generator for the company.

The newly delivered Boeing 787-9, bound for privately owned Juneyao Airlines, departed from Boeing’s Everett, Washington, factory and is en route to Shanghai. Notably, this is the first direct delivery of a new Boeing 787 to a Chinese airline since 2021, when such deliveries were made through leasing companies. This event comes against the backdrop of China’s prolonged halt on the delivery of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which has now stretched into its fifth year.

The grounding of the Boeing 737 Max in March 2019, following the second fatal crash of the aircraft within a span of five months, led to a global suspension of its operations. While the U.S. lifted its ban on the aircraft in 2020, other countries followed suit in subsequent years.

For Boeing, the resumption of direct 787 Dreamliner deliveries to Chinese airlines signifies a positive step forward amid efforts to ramp up production and deliveries. With approximately a third of Boeing’s inventory of around 250 Max planes allocated to Chinese airlines, according to Jefferies, the company has been actively working to address the backlog caused by China’s pause on 737 Max deliveries. Additionally, Boeing has sought to remarket some of its other Max aircraft to alternative carriers.

The significance of this recent delivery lies not only in its immediate impact on Boeing’s delivery schedule but also in the potential it holds for the company’s future dealings with Chinese aviation authorities. As Boeing strives to navigate through the challenges posed by the global aviation landscape, the successful delivery of the 787 Dreamliner to Juneyao Airlines may signal a turning point in its relationship with Chinese airlines and authorities, potentially paving the way for the long-awaited resumption of 737 Max deliveries in China.

In conclusion, Boeing’s delivery of a 787 Dreamliner to a Chinese airline marks a significant milestone for the company, with implications for its ongoing efforts to address the backlog of 737 Max deliveries. As the aviation industry continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic, Boeing’s successful delivery could signal a positive shift in its relationship with Chinese aviation stakeholders, offering hope for the eventual return of the 737 Max to Chinese skies.

(Source: Leslie Josephs | CNBC | Sophie Yu | Valerie Insinna | Reuters)

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