Boeing customers cancel and convert Max orders

Published: 12 March 2020 - 5 a.m.

Boeing has reported that it received more plane cancellations than orders in February as several customers turned their backs on the 737 Max, which remains grounded.

The latest figures from Boeing show that it received a total of 46 aircraft cancellations last month, offsetting its 18 new orders.

Net cancellations for 2020 now stand at 28, according to Boeing, compared to a net 49 of new orders in the first two months of 2019.

Air Canada cancelled an order for 11 Max aircraft while others have chosen to swap the troubled plane for larger wide-bodies.

Air Lease converted nine Max planes to three 787s while Oman Air converted 10 Max’s to four 787s.

The cancellations are not thought to be closely linked to the coronavirus and global capacity cuts as airlines generally take a very long-term approach to orders.

Nevertheless, airlines are currently leaking cash and with uncertainty around how long the virus crisis will last, carriers are unlikely to want to set money aside for new aircraft until the situation begins to show signs of improvement.

Meanwhile, rival European planemaker Airbus did not receive any orders for commercial jets in February.

The blank order book was a sizable drop for Airbus compared to its unusually high January book, when it received 274 orders.

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