Boeing delivers just 26 planes in September, extending slump

In this Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, photo completed Boeing 737 MAX fuselages, made at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kan., sit covered in tarps near the factory. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP)

CHICAGO — Boeing’s troubles are deepening as the grounding of the 737 Max jetliner approaches the seven-month mark.

The aircraft maker said Tuesday it delivered just 26 planes in September, down from 87 a year earlier, when it was ramping up Max production.

The Chicago-based company delivered just two 737s last month, compared with 61 a year earlier. The 737 is a longtime airline favorite for short and medium routes.

The Max has been grounded worldwide since mid-March after the second of two crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

Boeing says it’s fixing software on the plane that triggered nose-down pitches before both crashes. It hopes to win Federal Aviation Administration approval to return the plane to flying this year. But many analysts and pilot-union leaders think 2020 is more likely.