Boeing receives lowest aircraft orders in decades amid Max woes

Cancellations outstrip new purchases in 2019 following global grounding of best-selling 737 Max’s
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Boeing, Airbus, David calhoun, 737 MAX, FAA

Boeing received fewer orders for planes in 2019 than in any year over the last three decades and deliveries slumped to an 11-year low.

It means that rival Airbus took the top-spot as the world’s largest plane manufacturer.

Boeing concluded 2019 having received 54 net orders, after cancellations, compared to almost 900 orders the year before.

According to results posted on its website on Tuesday, Boeing delivered 380 aircraft, the lowest number since 2007.

Meanwhile, Airbus said it received 768 orders in 2019 after cancellations. Airbus delivered a record 863 during the year. Manufacturers make most of their revenue on commercial jets once planes are delivered.

The results were largely unsurprising given Boeing’s ongoing 737 Max saga, which has seen the manufacturer’s best-selling plane grounded worldwide.

Two 737 Max crashes resulted in the deaths of 346 people and a thorough and ongoing investigation into the plane by regulators.

It is still unclear when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will clear the 737 Max for service.

The jet’s return to service has received a number of knock-backs, including most recently a series of internal messages among employees implying that production processes on the Max were hurried.

Boeing finished the year with a backlog of 5,406 commercial aircraft, compared to Airbus’ 7,482.

Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, took the helm on Monday and will have a lot to contend with in 2020, including returning the Max to service and reinstating trust among customers and air passengers.

On his appointment, Calhoun said he was “confident in the future of Boeing, including the 737 Max".

In an internal email sent to Boeing employees, he said that the Max must be the company’s “primary focus”.

“This includes following the lead of our regulators and working with them to ensure they’re satisfied completely with the airplane and our work, so that we can continue to meet our customer commitments. We’ll get it done, and we’ll get it done right,” he wrote.

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