Boeing 737 MAX cancellations rise, deliveries drop as crises drag on

FILE PHOTO: Boeing 737 Max aircraft are parked in a parking lot at Boeing Field in this aerial photo over Seattle

By Eric M. Johnson and Ankit Ajmera

(Reuters) - Boeing Co customers scrubbed more than 400 orders for the U.S. planemaker's grounded 737 MAX jets this year, while the company's overall aircraft deliveries slumped to only four in July, monthly numbers showed on Tuesday.

Boeing said it lost another 43 orders for the 737 MAX jet in July, bringing the total number of canceled orders, including those where buyers converted a MAX to a different model, to 416 for this year.

Based on a tighter accounting standard, Boeing said order cancellations and conversions now stand at 864 for the MAX, recertification for which is still hanging in the balance more than a year after its worldwide grounding due to two fatal crashes.

The four deliveries - one 767 freighter for FedEx, one 777 freighter for DHL, and one 787 Dreamliner each for Air France and Turkish Airlines - were down from 19 a year earlier, taking the total to 74 planes this year.

Boeing delivered a record 806 aircraft in 2018, before the 737 MAX crisis erupted. The COVID-19 pandemic has sapped demand for new Boeing jets.

Brokerage Jefferies said on Tuesday it expects Boeing to deliver 138 aircraft in 2020, down from 380 last year.

Boeing did not win any new orders in July, and its cancellations included 35 previously scratched orders for the 737 MAX by aircraft lessors AerCap and Alafco.

Fresh 737 MAX cancellations last month were by Canada Jetlines, which struck off five orders, Avolon scrapped two orders and a business jet customer canceled one order.

Additionally, Boeing removed nine 737 MAX airplanes from its backlog to adjust for jets ordered in previous years but unlikely to be delivered currently.

On an adjusted basis, Boeing said 52 planes were canceled last month, bringing lost orders to 836 for the year as of July end.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham, Anil D'Silva and Shinjini Ganguli)