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

RDCK asks province for more powers to regulate private land logging

‘If the province won’t step up, we will have to’

Women, children escaping domestic violence have few options in Nelson

The 11th annual Report Card on Homelessness shows a need for women’s housing

L.V. Rogers awards its top athletes

The high school honoured its athletes last week

Logging protester arrested near Balfour

Jessica Ogden remains in custody until a hearing date is set

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after float plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

Most Read