Boeing airliner orders hit 4-year high, led by 737 Max jets

Boeing said Tuesday it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes.

The biggest boost came from United Airlines, which placed large orders for both the 737 Max and the larger, twin-aisle 787, which is used mostly on international routes. Bank of China Aviation also placed a significant order for 40 Max jets, Boeing said.

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 Icelandair passenger plane lands at Keflavik International Airport outside Reykjavik, Iceland on August 3, 2022. (Photo by Sergei Gapon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Boeing reported 774 orders for all of 2022, after subtracting cancelations. That was an increase from 479 the year before and a rebound from 2020, when the company lost 471 more orders than it gained.

Boeing said it delivered 69 planes in December, including 53 Maxes. Of those, Southwest took 18, which was a one-month record for any airline customer, Boeing said.

The company reported delivering 480 planes for the year. Deliveries are an important source of cash because buyers typically pay a large portion of the purchase price upon delivery.

Arlington, Virginia-based Boeing's European rival, Airbus, was scheduled to report its final 2022 sales later Tuesday.

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