DALLAS — Air India (AI) is set to acquire 55 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft originally intended for customers in China, according to sources cited by Leeham News. These planes form part of AI’s recent order for 190 jets and are not additional to the original agreement.
During a recent earnings call, Boeing confirmed that it had successfully found buyers for the surplus MAX jets but did not disclose their identities. Boeing’s Chief Financial Officer, Brian West, stated that the company ended the second quarter with 228 MAX airplanes in inventory, including 85 intended for Chinese customers. However, 55 of these have now been remarketed as per the discussed plan.
Boeing’s Chief Executive, Dave Calhoun, highlighted that the remarketing process was carried out with permission and in consultation with Chinese customers. Boeing had initially announced plans to remarket the China-bound Boeing 737 MAX in September 2022 but backtracked in early 2023. Rumors surfaced late in 2022 regarding Boeing’s intention to offer a portion of the 140 aircraft to AI.
Notably, Chinese airlines have not yet resumed receiving Boeing 737 MAX deliveries, despite the type being mostly back in service within the country. Calhoun expressed satisfaction with the performance of the MAX fleet, emphasizing its reliability. While he expects delivery to resume, he refrained from any prediction and stated that Boeing would continue managing the situation as it has been.
As for AI, they have a direct order for 140 Boeing 737-8s and 50 Boeing 737-10s from Boeing. However, the airline will have to reconfigure the originally planned China-bound jets, according to ch-aviation.com.
Boeing reported in June via its official WeChat account that approximately 90% of its China-bound 737 MAX jets were back in commercial service.
Featured image: ACA B38M at YVR | Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways