Airbus extends lead as Boeing new orders plunge 71 per cent

commercial jet manufacturer, Airbus, has stretched its lead over Boeing in aircraft deliveries, as the latter continues to be held back by the grounding of its embattled 737 Max model. 

The Chicago-based Boeing, yesterday, said it delivered 19 planes in July, down from 39 in July 2018. It also reported that it received no new orders for the Max in July – the fourth straight month without an order.

However, European rival, Airbus, reported 69 deliveries last month, including 52 A320neo and A321neo jets that compete with the Max.

This year through July, Boeing has delivered 258 airliners, down 38 per cent from a year earlier, and far behind Airbus’ 458 deliveries.

New orders for Boeing jets have plunged 71 per cent through the first seven months of 2019. Of the 139 orders in that period, 36 have been for 737 variants including the Max. In the first seven months of last year, Boeing logged 311 orders for 737s, mostly Max.

Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Muilenburg, said recently that the company has not suffered any order cancellations for the plane due to the grounding. Its website shows a backlog of unfilled orders for more than 4,500 Max jets.

Flyadeal, a budget carrier in Saudi Arabia, dropped an intention to buy up to 50 Max jets, and switched last month to the Airbus neo. It never signed an order with Boeing, however.

Also last month, the parent company of British Airways said it intends to buy 200 Max jets, although it has not signed a firm order either.
  
Air Lease Corp., which leases planes to airlines, disclosed last week that with Boeing’s approval, it switched 15 of its 150 orders for Max jets to five Boeing 787s. Air Lease executives said they had a shortage of the larger 787s.
  
Nigerian leading carrier, Air Peace, has none in its operations yet but had ordered at least 10 737 Max planes prior to the second crash and general meltdown of the series.
  
Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, recently told The Guardian that they were watching the development keenly, though it was still “premature to start talking of cancelling or not cancelling the Max order.

“We believe that Boeing has the capacity to sort out this problem. However, we are yet to decide whether to go on with it or not because we still have about four years on the delivery of the Max. Until Boeing is through with its investigation and the confidence returns, we are still waiting,” Onyema said.
  
Last month, Boeing reported its biggest quarterly loss – nearly $3 billion – after taking a $4.9 billion after-tax charge for the cost of compensating airlines that lost the use of their Max jets.
  
Boeing halted Max deliveries in March, after the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people.
  
In October, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 189 people. In March, another Boeing 737 Max, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed minutes after take-off and all 157 people on board died. 
  
Boeing planned to return the Max series to operations early in the fourth quarter, but Muilenburg has warned investors to brace up for tougher decisions should the delay worsen.

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