Crisis deepens for manufacturer as net orders for 2019 reported at just 54 aircraft

Deliveries of new Boeing airliners are reported to be at an 11 year low.

The manufacturer announced that net orders in 2019 amounted to just 54 aircraft orders after cancellations. Boeing’s deliveries in 2018 were reported to have fallen 53 per cent to 893 aircraft.

Deliveries of new aircraft to customers have halved to 380 – the lowest number since 2008. The decrease follows the grounding of the 737 Max since March 2019, which followed two crashes in which 346 people were killed. Investigations showed Boeing’s MCAS software was a contributing factor in both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airways crashes. The company announced a temporary halt in production of the 737 Max last month.

Airbus announces record deliveries

In contrast, the BBC has reported that Europan rival Airbus had delivered a record 863 planes in 2019 and racked up a net 768 orders after cancellations.

News on Boeing’s order slump follows the release of a raft of damning internal Boeing communications to the public last week. The emails showed executives mocking aircraft regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and joking that the 737 Max had been “designed by clowns”.

In one message, an airline customer was lambasted for asking for a flight simulator for pilot training. The manufacturer had argued simulators were unnecessary because the Max was so similar to the previous 737 model. The manufacturer has now agreed that simulators are necessary.

New chief “confident” in Boeing’s future

Boeing’s new chief executive David Calhoun took up his position at the manufacturer on Monday. Mr Calhoun said he is “confident in the future” of the firm and told staff his “primary focus” would be returning the 737 Max to the skies.

Calhoun replaced Dennis Muilenburg, who was fired last month, in a move the company’s board said was necessary to “restore confidence” in Boeing.

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