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Return of 737 MAX to service boosts Boeing’s first-quarter deliveries

The return of the 737 MAX to service boosted Boeing’s first-quarter plane deliveries compared with a year ago, according to company data released Tuesday.

The aviation giant reported 77 commercial plane deliveries in the quarter ending March 31.

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That is an increase from the 50 delivered in the year-ago period, but barely half the 149 planes delivered in 2019 before dual crises over the MAX grounding and the Covid-19 travel industry downturn.

US air safety regulators in mid-November cleared the MAX to return to service after a 20-month grounding in the wake of two deadly crashes.

Boeing made upgrades to the MAX plane and pilot training protocols. Last Friday, Boeing recommended that 16 airlines flying the MAX address a “potential electrical issue” discovered during plane production.

In the first quarter, the 737 accounted for 63 of the 77 commercial planes delivered, including 58 of the MAX model.

Boeing in March also notched a second straight month of net positive orders for the MAX after achieving the milestone in February for the first time since November 2019.

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