After chaotic years, Boeing hopes to see the end of the tunnel

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After chaotic years, Boeing hopes to see the end of the tunnel

Boeing is trying to turn the dark page of its 727 Max aircraft by making amends with US authorities and regulators, partially acknowledging its responsibility for the aircraft's accidents.

From the accidents of the 737 MAX to the misadventures of its jumbo jets, Boeing is struggling to emerge from the most serious crisis in its history. On the first day of the Farnborough Air Show (United Kingdom) on Monday, the American giant sought to make an impression by signing large contracts.

The American company Delta has d&#x27 First placed a firm order for 100 models of the 737 MAX 10, Boeing's medium-haul aircraft, worth $13.5 billion at list price. The agreement also includes an option to purchase thirty additional aircraft.

Japanese carrier ANA has confirmed the acquisition of twenty MAX 8s ($2.4 billion at list price) with an option for ten more aircraft as well as two long-haul 777-8s for cargo air.

Thanks to these orders, Boeing intends to prove that the setbacks of the MAX are behind him. The aircraft was grounded for 20 months, from March 2019 to December 2020, after two fatal crashes.

The most difficult of our crises is managed effectively. It's not over, but the manufacturer is putting its MAX planes back into service for [its] customers, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in an interview with the FT on Monday.

The American airline Delta has placed an order for one hundred models of the 737 MAX 10, which represents a value of 13.5 billion dollars.

Since the return to the skies of the MAX , Boeing has been scrambling to make amends with US authorities and regulators, partially admitting responsibility for the crashes and paying billions of dollars to settle lawsuits.

On the MAX, we have passed the milestone, summarizes Michel Merluzeau of the specialized firm AIR, who nevertheless believes that there are still a lot of questions to be resolved on the supplier side, linked to the problems of the global supply chain. , staff shortages and the Ukraine crisis.

These disruptions could weigh on Boeing's increased production rates.

We will be limited by supply problems for a while, recognized Stan Deal, president of the commercial division of Boeing, on Sunday.

The fate of the MAX 10, the largest and most recent medium-haul version, is in the hands of the US Congress, which must decide by the end of December whether or not to grant a exemption from a law imposing new standards for the crew alert system. Dave Calhoun hinted in a recent Aviation Week interview that the company may forgo the MAX 10 if it doesn't get a waiver or isn't certified before the end of the year.

A lack of certification would imply additional training for pilots, making the model more expensive for companies, which could turn away from it.

In the widebody market, most deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner have been frozen since manufacturing defects were discovered in the summer of 2020. As for the future version of the 777, the 777X, its certification has again been delayed to 2025 to meet regulatory requirements.

When you're not producing, it's hard to get orders, Stan Deal said of the 787 .

With 51 aircraft delivered in June [including 43 MAX], Boeing still had its best month since March 2019.

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">The Boeing 737 on display at the Farnborough Air Show

Not yet recovered from the pandemic and their own torments, the group is in failing health. He racked up the charges in the first quarter [war in Ukraine, renegotiation of the Air Force One presidential plane contract, etc.] and his debt stood at the end of March at nearly $58 billion.

Financially, the company is not at an existential risk, reassures Michel Merluzeau, who believes that certain programs, particularly in the defense sector, will be profitable in the long term.

This is, according to the expert, the case of the KC-46 military tanker or the MQ-25, future US Navy tanker drone.

Boeing also has ambitions in the conquest of space. Its Starliner capsule, which is to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, passed a key test at the end of May after many adventures, but faces Starlink, Elon Musk's company.

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There remains the question of the launch of a new model to fill the market segment between the MAX and the 787 and compete with the Airbus A321, in particular its version with a very long range.

Dave Calhoun buried an NMA (New Midsize Aircraft) project in early 2020, but many observers believe that Boeing could relaunch it under penalty to give up too much market share to its European competitor.

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