Boeing loses more than 100 737 Max orders in a single month

737 Max grounding has now cost Boeing $5 billion and is being exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic ripping through the airline industry
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Boeing lost 108 orders for its 737 Max aircraft in April causing its order book to slip below 5,000 for the first time in seven years.

The US planemaker secured zero commercial jet orders last month and delivered only six aircraft on a backlog of 4,834 units, it said on Tuesday.

Boeing’s backlog has taken a hammering since the coronavirus pandemic began plauging the airline industry earlier this year and forced carriers to ground their entire fleets.

Among the companies that cancelled their 737 Max orders recently were General Electric’s leasing arm, Gecas, China Development Bank’s (CDB) leasing arm, Dublin-based lessor Avolon, and Brazilian airline Gol.

Boeing’s largest 737 Max customer, Southwest Airlines, decided to defer 737 Max deliveries and said it will take fewer than 50 planes until the end of next year, instead of the 120 it was supposed to receive.

In an interview with NBC’s Today show, which aired on Tuesday, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said that the Covid-19 pandemic will likely cause at least one US carrier to fail.

Boeing has been grappling with the fallout from fatal 737 Max crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.

The ongoing 737 Max grounding cost Boeing an additional $1 billion in Q1 2020, bringing the total cost to $5 billion, according to its results.

Boeing made a loss of $1.5 billion in the first quarter compared to a $2.3 billion pre-tax profit last year. Sales fell 26% to $17 billion.

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