Boeing orders halve after grounding of 737 Max due to crashes

Model is central to Boeing’s future in its battle with European rival Airbus SE

737 Max planes on the assembly line in Renton, Washington. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

737 Max planes on the assembly line in Renton, Washington. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

 

Boeing said on Tuesday orders nearly halved in the first quarter and the plane maker handed over far fewer aircraft, as it struggled with the worldwide grounding of its best-selling 737 Max jets following two fatal crashes. Net orders, an indication of future demand, fell to 95 aircraft in the first quarter from 180 a year earlier. There were no new Max orders in March, the company said. The fall in order suggests that airlines had adopted a wait-and-watch approach as Boeing looks to ride out the worst crisis in its history. Deliveries of the 737 planes fell to 89 in the first quarter from 132 a year earlier. Eleven Max were delivered in March, compared with 26 in February. Boeing froze deliveries of the aircraft after a global grounding of the narrow-body model following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet on March 10th, killing all 157 people on board. The 737 Max, a new variant of the 737 family, is central to Boeing’s future in its battle with European rival Airbus SE and the likely workhorse for global airlines for decades. – Reuters