Boeing orders and deliveries tumble as Max jet is grounded

Boeing suspended deliveries in mid-March after regulators around the world ordered the plane grounded

Boeing failed to win any orders for its 737 Max airliner in March as scrutiny of the plane increased following a second deadly crash in less than five months.

Deliveries of finished Max jets also tumbled, to 11 from 26 in February. That was not surprising — Boeing suspended deliveries in mid-March after regulators around the world ordered the plane grounded.

Boeing’s report Tuesday on orders and deliveries came just three days after the company announced that it will cut production of 737s from 52 a month to 42. Meanwhile, airlines that own the nearly 400 grounded Max jets are cancelling flights.

The damage to Boeing could be temporary, however, if the company can complete a fix to key software on the Max and reassure regulators and passengers that it is a safe plane.

Many analysts believe the deliveries will only be delayed, not lost forever, unless airlines cancel orders for the plane.

The figures on March orders and deliveries are “secondary to getting the Max fix approved and its grounding lifted,” Cowen aircraft analyst Cai von Rumohr said.

The plane was grounded when an Ethiopian Airlines Max crashed March 10, less than five months after a Lion Air Max plunged into the sea off the coast of Indonesia. In all, 346 people died.

Boeing has acknowledged that in each crash, a faulty sensor triggered an anti-stall system when it wasn’t needed, pushing the plane’s nose down. Pilots on each flight fought unsuccessfully to regain control, according to flight data retrieved from the planes.

The company is still working on the software update, which was delayed recently by several weeks because of the discovery of a second software problem. Boeing hasn’t described the second issue but says it is not related to the anti-stall system.

READ MORE: Boeing cutting production rate of troubled 737 Max jet

So far, most of Wall Street and Boeing’s airline customers have publicly stood behind the company during its crisis. Boeing hasn’t disclosed any lost orders, although Garuda Indonesia has said it will cancel an order for 49 Max jets. Boeing has a backlog of about 4,600 orders for the plane.

Delta Air Lines neither owns nor has any orders for the Max — most of its pending orders are with Boeing’s rival, Airbus. But Delta CEO Ed Bastian said he remains confident in Boeing’s technological prowess and is interested if Boeing decides to build a new plane bigger than the 737.

“I am confident that Boeing will solve this issue” with the Max, he said. “I expect that to be a hiccup.”

Airlines that own the Max, however, are paying a price. On Tuesday, American Airlines cut a key revenue estimate after cancelling 1,200 flights in the first quarter due to the grounding of its 24 Max jets.

American, the world’s biggest airline, said that it can’t predict the future financial fallout until it knows how long the jets will be parked and the circumstances under which they will be allowed to fly again.

READ MORE: Boeing extends sympathies to victims, outlines fixes for Max 8

Over the weekend, American removed the plane from its schedule for an additional six weeks, through June 5.

Shares of Chicago-based Boeing fell $5.48, or 1.5%, to close at $369.04. They have lost 13% since the Ethiopian crash.

David Koenig, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Meet Tour de North cyclist Chris Fedoruk

Quesnel man is a community rider with this year’s Cops for Cancer team

Forestry Ink: Forest tenure changes are occurring throughout the world

Regular columnist Jim Hilton writes about forest tenure and ownership

Quesnel Safeway honours its volunteer shoppers

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safeway’s volunteer shopper program

Police name second suspect, lay kidnapping and attempted murder charges in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incidents

Drynock is considered dangerous, do not approach him and call the local RCMP detachment immediately

Grey Ghost to get back on track at Doug Larson Memorial Race

Quesnel’s Mike Spooner wants to race again after 17-year hiatus

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read