Boeing’s Annus Horribilis: Orders Plunge to 16-Year Low as 737 Max Remains Grounded

By Paul Riegler on 14 January 2020
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Boeing and Queen Elizabeth II have something in common: both have now experienced an annus horribilis, the Latin phrase for “horrible year.”

The Chicago-based company announced fourth quarter and full year deliveries for 2019, reporting that new orders and deliveries for its planes had hit their lowest point in over a decade.

Much of the decline can be attributed to the global grounding of the 737 Max.

The aircraft manufacturer said it delivered 35 planes in the month of December, the most since March, when the 737 Max was grounded after two hull losses that took a total of 346 lives, forcing the company to suspend deliveries.

In 2019, the company delivered 380 aircraft, including military versions of its planes, a 14-year low and a 52% year-over-year decline from the 806 jetliners it delivered in 2018, which was a record high for the company.

Boeing rival Airbus delivered a record 863 aircraft in 2019.

Meanwhile, the company said its gross orders were down 77% in 2019 from 893 to 246 aircraft. Net orders were 54 planes after accounting for conversions or cancellations.  After adjusting for planes ordered in previous years that are now unlikely to be delivered, the net total for orders for 2019 was negative 87.

Still, all is not bleak for the sole remaining U.S. aircraft maker: Airbus currently has a 10-year production backlog on orders, or 7,482 commercial planes, while Boeing finished the year with a backlog of 5,406 and can catch up fairly quickly once the 737 Max debacle is resolved once and for all.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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