CHICAGO – For the first time in 7 years Boeing ended a month without new orders for the 737 series. Since March 13 of this year the entire fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has been grounded, due to 2 tragic accidents within 5 months.
On March 10 – this year – a 737 MAX from Ethiopian Airlines crashed, after an aircraft of the same type from the Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed in October last year. A total of 346 people died in both accidents.
In March Boeing booked a total of 44 new orders. This also included 2 B737 BBJs, the Business Jet variant of the 737. Boeing did not receive any orders though for the new 737 MAXs.
The 737 orders also have decreased before the accident with the Ethiopian aircraft. In the first 3 months of 2019, Boeing received only 10 new orders for the 737 MAX. Exactly 1 year ago, Boeing received 112 new orders in the 1st quarter of 2018 for its best-selling aircraft.
Although Boeing has stopped delivering the 737 MAX, 24 and 27 MAXs were still delivered in January and February of this year. In March the number of deliveries dropped to 11. The number of 737s delivered at this time – this year – has been 33% below the same period in 2018. The total number of deliveries have decreased with 19%.
The Boeing 737 is by far the best-selling and most successful airliner jet ever. The MAX is the 4th generation of the type that has been in production since the late 1960s. The MAX is also a commercial success. A total of 4,648 737 MAX aircraft have been ordered.