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Delta Air Lines is among airlines Boeing Co has approached to buy dozens of 737 MAX jets built for clients that have since canceled their orders or postponed, according to Reuters.
As the 737 MAX steps closer to commercial flight after an 18-month grounding, Boeing is trying to find buyers for the so-called “white tails” – jets painted white, awaiting an airline livery. Boeing has had discussions with Delta to take 40 of the 737 MAX “white tails,” according to a market source. Boeing and Delta declining to give any comment to Reuters.
Why Delta Air Lines?
Of the top four U.S. airlines, Delta is the only one without the MAX. An order from the Atlanta-based carrier, whose relations with Boeing have been frayed in recent years, would be a surprise, market sources said.
Boeing’s unsolicited offer illustrates one of the key challenges it faces once a modified MAX with safety upgrades receives approval to fly again. These include restoring confidence in the plane, clearing a backlog of undelivered jets at a time when the industry is shrinking, and boosting production rates.
Boeing has built some 460 737 MAXs whose delivery has been frozen since the March 2019 grounding. Jefferies analysts estimate that ties up $16 billion in inventory.