Boeing had more cancellations than new orders in 2019

Jan. 14 (UPI) — Boeing reported Tuesday it had more cancellations than new plane orders for 2019, a year that saw the worldwide grounding of its 737 Max aircraft after two crashes killed hundreds of people.

The plane manufacturer said it had a net loss of 87 commercial planes after factoring in the likely loss of business with India’s Jet Airways, which went bankrupt last year. Overall, the company had 246 new orders, not enough to offset the loss of business.

Aviation authorities worldwide grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 in spring 2019 after a Lion Air crash in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March killed a collective 346 people.

Investigators blamed a fault in the model’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, which caused the planes to nosedive.

Since the groundings, there’s been little demand for the 737, which saw a 90 percent drop in new orders in 2019. There also was a 53 percent drop in deliveries, from 806 in 2018 to 380 in 2019.

Rival Airbus, meanwhile, had 654 new orders for its A320 aircraft, a competitor of the 737 Max.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun sent an email to employees Monday pushing the return of the Max to service. The company is awaiting certification and training to put the planes back in the air.

“We’ll get it done, and we’ll get it done right,” he wrote.

Last week, Boeing sent Congress more than 100 pages of internal communications exposing communications between employees boasting about manipulating American and international safety regulators.

Boeing said it has proactively brought these messages, and additional documents, to the FAA’s attention to prove its commitment to transparency and to Senate and House committees in recognition of their oversight functions, admitting that they will raise questions over the development and qualification of its Max simulators and the company’s interactions with the federal aviation regulator.