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737 Max

Report: Boeing Attempting to Sell Completed 737 MAXs to Delta

Report: Boeing Attempting to Sell Completed 737 MAXs to Delta
Joe Cortez

As the Boeing 737 MAX gets closer to flying passengers once again, the Chicago-based manufacturer is trying to sell off some of their “blank tail” airframes. A new report suggests over 40 aircraft remain on the market without a buyer, after airlines cancelled orders for the troubled aircraft.

A new report suggests Boeing has over 40 737 MAX airframes completed, and waiting for the right buyer. According to Reuters, the airline has a surplus of completed aircraft without an owner after several airlines cancelled their commitments for new aircraft.

Worldwide Grounding and COVID-19 Play Part in Surplus Aircraft

After the two fatal accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX, the aircraft has been grounded by worldwide authorities. Compounding the issue is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has decimated the demand for passenger travel.

As a result, airlines have walked back their orders for the 737 MAX, citing the 18-month grounding and the current economic condition. In July 2020, it was revealed airlines cancelled over 300 737 MAX orders in the year. Now, the airline hopes to sell some of their complete airframes without an owner to other carriers.

Reuters suggests their primary target is Delta Air Lines, which is the only major American carrier not to order the 737 MAX for their fleet. Because Delta previously announced they would defer some of the $14.2 billion in order commitments from Airbus, many insiders say it would be a surprise if the Atlanta-based carrier agreed to purchase the finished jets.

With a number of aircraft finished and ready but nowhere to go, much of Boeing’s cash is currently tied up in their fleet. An estimate by analyst Jeffries suggests the overstocked inventory accounts for around $16 billion.

Manufacturing Shifts Focus from Washington to South Carolina

While the company is focused on re-certifying the 737 MAX before the end of the year, additional changes are coming for Boeing. In a press release, the company announced they would move all 787 Dreamliner manufacturing from their traditional hub in Everett, Washington to South Carolina by 2021.

The move would reduce Boeing’s reliance on unionized labor, as South Carolina is an “at-will” state. However, there have been allegations that the South Carolina plant has issues with quality control, which the company has repeatedly denied.

View Comments (6)


  1. caljn

    October 2, 2020 at 6:47 am

    I never thought I would see the day where Boeing, the gold standard, the once proud, iconic, American corporation would be circling the drain. Hopefully they can pull it out, recover and reclaim their position. Likely not in my lifetime though.

  2. dsellens

    October 2, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I am so sorry caljn to hear that you are on your deathbed :-)

  3. BC Shelby

    October 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    …a major portion of Delta’s orders to Airbus include the 321 Neo and 321 XLR (which they are looking to replace their ageing 757s with), A330 NEO’s (to replace older A330s acquired from the Northwest merger), along with additional A350s, and A220s (the latter to replace older medium range narrow body aircraft).

    The 737 Max fits none of these fleet requirements which is why Delta chose not to consider it.

  4. edgewood49

    October 6, 2020 at 5:36 am

    I agree with caljn it will be a very long time before if ever BA gets their “gold standard:” back. We had issues in the AF with their metal and given the shambles the new tanker turned out to be the Pentagon should have bought the AB they would have had a fleet in operation by now. I mean really did it take that much to take a 767 airframe and make it a tanker?

  5. TWAnonrev

    October 11, 2020 at 6:57 am

    I am a loyal Delta customer. I would have to rethink this loyalty if Delta were to start flying the 737 MAX, regardless of whatever modifications have been introduced to increase its safety. It’s a plane I will avoid flying at all costs.

  6. born sleepy

    October 11, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Yeah let’s move good-paying union jobs, the ones my dad and his gen could raise a family on with one paycheck and retire from comfortably with a decent pension, to a state with “at-will” to save a few bucks and employ people who will quit after a few years to do something else because there’s no reason to be a Boeing lifer in SC… I hate this so much.

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