The Boeing Company recorded zero orders in April for the second time this year as cancellations of orders for its aircraft continued to mount. Boeing on Tuesday said that as many as 108 orders for its 737 Max jetliners were cancelled in April, thus piling on the backlog of aircrafts as the company continues to survive the devastating effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
Boeing has been bleeding for more than a year now owing to the grounding of its 737 Max aircraft since March 2019. The coronavirus outbreak has further worsened the crisis with the airlines cancelling orders and deliveries of aircrafts as the travel industry continues to suffer millions of dollars every day.
Boeing records zero orders
Boeing recorded zero orders in April, as customers its cancelled another 108 orders for the grounded 737 Max aircrafts. The company said that it managed to deliver just six new aircrafts in April. So far Boeing has delivered a meager 56 aircrafts this year, down 67 per cent from a year earlier.
This has by far been Boeing's worst start to a year since 1962. Among the customers that canceled orders was General Electric's aircraft leasing arm, known as Gecas. The additional cancellations in April coupled with Boeing's decision to take off some orders of its tally has brought the company's backlog now to 4,834 aircrafts. As of April, Boeing had unfulfilled orders of 5,049 planes.
Boeing's crisis deepens
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the airline industry with airline companies now looking up to respective governments for bailout. This has seen many airlines cancelling orders from Boeing. In March customers of Boeing Co. cancelled 150 orders for 737 Max aircraft.
However, Boeing's crisis started long before in 2019. The company's best-selling aircraft remains grounded since March last year following tow fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. Since then Boeing has been striving hard to bring back the troubled aircraft back to service, which is still awaiting clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The worsening crisis saw the departure of the company's Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg in December followed by Boeing decision to temporarily suspend production of its 737 Max aircraft in January. US air traffic is down more than 90 per cent from a year ago with countries imposing lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders. This has further complicated the situation for Boeing.
As demand for air travel dried up due to the coronavirus pandemic, Boeing recently said that it would slash 10 per cent of its 160,000-person workforce. Boeing's CEO Dave Calhoun has said it could take three years for air travel demand to recover to 2019 levels and even longer to get back to growth mode. It can thus be said that Boeing will have to fight hard to survive this crisis.