Boeing Delivered Just 4 Aircraft In May & None Were Passenger Jets

Boeing only delivered four aircraft in May. This was far below what Boeing usually delivers and was less than April’s count. However, in a very unusual month for Boeing, none of the four aircraft delivered were passenger jets. Three were freighters, while a fourth was a plane for the US Navy.

UPS received a Boeing 767-300F in May. Photo: Boeing

Boeing’s May deliveries

In May 2020, Boeing delivered the following four aircraft:

  • One Boeing 737-800A for the US Navy (P-8A Poseidon) on May 29th
  • Two Boeing 777Fs for China Southern Airlines on May 22nd
  • One Boeing 767-300F for UPS Airlines delivered on May 12th

This was far below what Boeing usually ends up delivering in May. In the same month in 2019, Boeing delivered 30 aircraft, including 11 787s, eight 737s, six 767s, and five 777s. In May 2018, Boeing delivered 43 jets, including 24 737s (including MAX aircraft), 15 787s, and four 777s.


China Southern Freighter
China Southern took two 777Fs for its cargo arm in May. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

April, one of the worst months for aviation in the world, was better for Boeing in terms of deliveries. That month, the aircraft manufacturer delivered six jets in April:

  • One 787-8 for American Airlines
  • One 737-800A for the US Navy (P-8A Poseidon)
  • One 777F for DHL
  • Two 787-9s and one 787-10 for United Airlines

Customers are deferring aircraft deliveries

While these numbers are not stellar for Boeing, the manufacturer is not entirely at fault. Airlines have been reducing their cash expenditures by deferring the delivery of new aircraft. With the 737 MAX grounded and losing orders, all Boeing really can deliver are passenger 777s and 787s along with freighters and military aircraft.

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Boeing 737 MAX car park
With the MAX grounded, Boeing is relying on 767, 777, and 787 deliveries. Photo: Getty Images

Until this crisis starts to subside and airlines are ready to take new aircraft again, Boeing’s aircraft deliveries on the passenger side will likely remain low. Freighters, however, are a different story. Cargo airlines are performing exceptionally under this crisis, and there just are not enough jets out there to meet current demand. In fact, last month, all of Boeing’s new orders were for cargo aircraft. 75% of Boeing’s May deliveries were for freight aircraft. In addition, military aircraft likely will not be deferred. These two types of aircraft will drive Boeing’s deliveries for the next few months.

The aircraft delivered

The P-8A Poseidon delivered in May is the 100th jet of the type built for the US navy. Derived from the 737 Next Generation line of aircraft, the P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft that can support broad-area, marine, and coastal operations.

P-8A Poseidon
The P-8A Poseidon. Photo: Boeing

China Southern has a dedicated fleet of cargo aircraft. The 777F is the backbone of that fleet. Those aircraft have helped fly cargo around the world and will be necessary in the current medical crisis with thousands of pounds of supplies and equipment that need to fly around the world.

UPS is a big Boeing 767-300F operator. According to Boeing, UPS has a backlog of six Boeing 767-300Fs, with 66 already delivered to the airline. This, however, does not include the fleet of converted 767 freighters. In addition to the 767s, UPS also flies Boeing 747 cargo jets, including the latest 747-8F.

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Do you think Boeing’s deliveries will remain low or start to increase? Let us know in the comments!

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