Boeing closed the year for the first time in decades with negative orders for commercial aircraft, CNBC reports. End of 2019, the space giant lost orders for 87 aircraft, which means it had more cancellations than new orders.
The high number of cancellations is the last sign that the 737 Max crisis – the aircraft involved in two fatal accidents that killed 346 people – continues to affect Boeing’s results. The order book for the troubled jet shrank by 183 aircraft – although much of that had to do with a number of cheap overseas airlines, such as India’s Jet Airways and Vietnam’s VietJet, go bankrupt. But thanks to the ongoing difficulties of getting the 737 Max certified, there was not enough demand to make up for the losses.
The number of orders for 737 models fell by 90 percent during the year, according to CNN. Boeing had barely fixed orders for the Max after the earthing in mid-March, but other models also had new orders with 29 percent fewer.
Meanwhile, American Airlines cancellations have been extended for the 737 Max until June 4, after previously focused on April 7. The courier has pushed back the date several times, while Boeing continues to make efforts to get regulatory approval to make the 737 Max greener.
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max jets after two fatal crashes in October 2018 and March 2019. Both crashes are linked to a piece of software that Boeing had installed on the 737 Max, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.
The latest fire storm to envelop the company was internal messages in which Boeing employees discussed the problems with the 737 Max in a way that characterized the company as “completely unacceptable.” own family members fly on the 737 Max and describe interactions with FAA officials as cover-ups.
The reports show how Boeing tried to reduce the amount of simulator training that the FAA needed to certify pilots for the 737 Max. Last week, the company said it would recommend simulator training for pilots of its 737 Max jets after it had been previously stated that such training was not necessary.
Boeing originally sold the 737 Max to airlines on the promise that they would not have to pay to train their pilots on simulators, which can be expensive for airlines. Instead, pilots who were certified to fly on the 737 Next Generation aircraft followed a short course on an iPad to fly the Max, according to The New York Times.