Boeing sold 145 planes in the first three months of the year, after accounting for canceled orders, the company said on Tuesday, as airlines around the world start to lay the groundwork for a broader postpandemic rebound.
Almost all of the orders were for the 737 Max, which regained its spot as the star of Boeing’s commercial fleet after emerging from a prolonged crisis more than a year ago. Two crashes of the plane killed 346 people, leading to a global ban on the Max for nearly two years until late 2020. Most of the 95 planes that Boeing delivered in the first quarter of the year were also the Max.
Boeing has now had 14 straight months of net new sales as the travel rebound accelerates.
“The recovery in air travel is gathering steam as governments in many parts of the world lift travel restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, the director general of International Air Transport Association, a trade group, at a news conference last week.
But threats to the rebound remain. The spread of BA.2, a subvariant of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, could interrupt the travel recovery. Lengthy discussions with regulators who have quality concerns about the 787 Dreamliner, a twin-aisle aircraft, have forced Boeing to cut back production and suspend deliveries of that plane.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also created disruptions for Boeing, which temporarily closed an office in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and stopped buying titanium from Russia, a key source of the element. Boeing also removed 141 planes from its backlog in March, attributing about two-thirds to fallout from geopolitical events, including that conflict.