Boeing jet deliveries fell sharply in October, with customers taking a total of 57 airplanes, 30 fewer than the previous month, according to the manufacturer’s monthly update.
The Everett widebody jet assembly plant delivered no 747 jumbo jets in the month and only one each of the 767 and 777 models. Only deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner met the production schedule, with a dozen delivered between the Everett and North Charleston, South Carolina, plants.
Meanwhile in Renton, Boeing delivered 43 single-aisle 737s, which is nine short of the production rate, which means that the backlog of parked and undelivered planes grew by that number.
The drop may be largely seasonal. Boeing deliveries always rise at the end of a quarter, such as September. And the typical pattern is for more deliveries in November and heavy activity at year-end in December.
Last year, Boeing delivered 56 planes in October, then 70 in November and 83 in December.
However, Boeing reiterated at the end of last month that its target for the year is at least 810 deliveries. With the total through October standing at 625, to meet that target Boeing has the daunting task of delivering 185 airplanes in the last two months of the year.
Separately, Boeing added new orders for 18 jets during October, while canceling orders for a dozen jets.
Boeing’s net order total for the year now stands at 642 airplanes, consisting of 453 single-aisle jets and 189 more expensive widebodies.
That’s well ahead of rival Airbus, which has net orders through October for 340 airplanes, consisting of 264 single-aisle jets and 76 widebodies.
Airbus has also faced acute production problems this year and has delivered only 584 airplanes through October compared with Boeing’s 625.