Boeing Deliveries Decline, Now Subject To EU Tariffs


Boeing delivered just 28 commercial aircraft in the third quarter, for a total of just 98 year to date, roughly one-third of its 2019 volume, and down dramatically from its 2018 peak of 806 aircraft for the year. Over the third quarter, Airbus delivered 57 aircraft, which is also a substantially lower number than it managed last year.

“We continue to work closely with our customers around the globe, understanding their near-term and longer term fleet needs, aligning supply and demand while navigating the significant impact this global pandemic continues to have on our industry,” said Greg Smith, Boeing executive vice president of Enterprise Operations and chief financial officer. “We’re taking actions to resize, reshape and transform our business to preserve liquidity, adapt to the new market reality and ensure that we deliver the highest standards of safety and quality as we position our company to be more resilient for the long term. Our diverse portfolio, including our government services, defense and space programs, continues to provide some stability as we adapt and rebuild stronger for the other side of the pandemic.”

Boeing’s woes continue with a reduction in orders across the board but especially so in the beleaguered 737 MAX, which has lost more than 400 orders either through direct cancellation from purchasers or leasing firms, or because Boeing has determined that the financial health of some customers will not permit them to actually take possession of the contracted aircraft. 

What’s more, a long-standing feud with the European Union over aviation subsidies bubbled over to a World Trade Organization ruling today that allows the European Union to impose some $4 billion in tariffs for “illegal subsidies” given to U.S. manufacturers. The decision centered on tax incentives, since repealed, given to Boeing by Washington state to retain manufacturing in the Puget Sound. This feud has been in progress for 16 years and has resulted in U.S. tariffs against Airbus.

All of this plays out as the federal government is focused on the upcoming election and unable to come to agreement for additional COVID-19-related financial aid to individuals and companies. A proposal by the White House to draft a more narrowly aimed bill to offer assistance to airlines has fallen off the radar in the last few days.

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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  1. We should hit back by fixing the problems with Tort, reliever airports, cert costs, etc. Then, when GA sales start to recover, hit the foreign piston manufacturers with tariffs too.

    (Yes, this is me using a silly argument to get what I want anyways, but “When in Rome”.

  2. I do not think most Americans are aware of the deep anger among wine makers, (a very power political group) cheese makers and various other industries in Europe over the 25% Boeing taxes you have imposed for over a the past year or so.
    These are dangerous areas to poke. When winegrowers take on the state, deaths usually follow.
    There has already been talk of boycotts of airlines flying Boeing and even “direct action” against Boeing aircraft.
    The sooner these taxes are lifted (and an apology given) the better for everyone.

    • Who saved you from Hitler and the Soviet Union?
      You’re welcome.
      Perhaps you can take some direct action to put your over-rated wine and cheese in a shallow hole.