Boeing 737 family reaches 500 cancellations in 2020

Photo: © Boeing

The Boeing 737 family has now lost more than 500 outstanding orders in 2020. This is reflected in the manufacturer’s 2020 orders and deliveries report, which lists -521 net orders for the 737 family through April 30.

Boeing’s total net orders for all airplane types combined, including 737, 777 and 787, currently stand at negative 516 for the time January 1 to April 30, 2020. The report shows that while Boeing did receive 49 new orders during this period, the company also lost 565 orders.

Only two aircraft types managed to stay positive in terms of net orders. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner received 29 orders and lost seven. New contracts came from All Nippon Airways (ANA), which signed for eleven 787-10 and one 787-9 in Feburary, leasing companies Air Lease Corporation (three 787) and SAOC (four 787), as well as unidentified customer(s) (ten 787).

Furthermore, the Boeing 767 freighter got two new orders from FedEx Express, with no cancellations.

By far the most orders (up to 539) were lost with the 737 MAX. Although Boeing has not disclosed what types were cancelled by which customers, most, if not all of them fall on the troubled 737 MAX series, because its predecessor ‘NG’ is no longer being offered.

The last two factory-new Boeing 737 NG were delivered to China Eastern Airlines in January (despite earlier plans to conclude in December last year). These were the only two non-military 737 deliveries in the first four months of 2020, as the successor MAX is not being handed over to airlines since its grounding started in March 2019.

Most cancellations are likely related to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, that is having a deep financial impact on airlines around the world. However, the fact that the 737 MAX has been grounded for more than a year following two deadly crashes in October 2018 and March 2019 also has an important impact on Boeing’s ability to sell the aircraft type or at least maintain its backlog.

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