Boeing airplane orders and deliveries ticked upward in March as the 737 Max's return to service gained momentum and some airlines flying the airplane began to look toward a possible recovery from the pandemic downturn.
Sales data released Tuesday shows the planemaker recorded positive net orders for just the second month in a row, after more than a year of order cancellations.
And Boeing delivered 29 commercial jets in March, including the first 787 Dreamliner deliveries since October.
Boeing won 40 net orders in the month, bringing its net total for the year to 76 airplanes.
This is in contrast to archrival Airbus, which in February and March had a total of 100 jet orders canceled, bringing its net order tally for the year down to minus 61 airplanes.
While Airbus is experiencing the negative impact of the pandemic-driven airline downturn, clearly Boeing is getting an offsetting sales boost from the Max's return to service.
However, as positive as March's data is, this week's news that will certainly slow Boeing's momentum.
Hundreds of both orders and cancellations
The U.S. jetmaker won 162 new orders and had 122 orders canceled in March. All of those were 737 Maxes except for 11 anti-submarine P-8s ordered, nine for the U.S. Navy and two for the Royal Australian Air Force.
The new orders finalized last month included 100 Maxes for Southwest, 24 Maxes for Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners and 23 Maxes for Alaska Airlines.