Boeing’s orders fell 45% in 2001


Boeing the world's biggest aircraft maker said today its 2001 gross orders for commercial jets fell 45 per cent from 2000, as airlines suffered record-breaking losses.

Even before the September 11th air attacks Boeing was struggling through a bad year. The 2001 numbers would have been even worse were it not for a modest burst of ordering late in December.

A total of 41 gross orders were placed in the final weeks of 2001.

Once again, the most popular of Boeing's family of aircraft was the 737 narrow-body jet.

The single largest identified customer for Boeing in 2001 was China Southern Airlines with 22 planes ordered.

Boeing, which derives about 60 per cent of its revenues from the sale of commercial airplanes, has predicted 2002 jet deliveries of 350 to 400 and less than that in 2003.

Although air traffic is returning, it still remains below normal levels and fares in many cases are too cheap for the airlines to make money yet.

Mr Phil Condit, Boeing’s chief executive said because airlines have not over-ordered planes like in the past, Boeing is better able to weather cyclical downturns in the commercial jet market.

Shares of Boeing, the worst performing stock among its peers in the Dow Jones industrial average last year, were lower in New York Stock Exchange trading today, down 3 cents to $40.30.