Boeing loses more 737 MAX orders, eyes jet’s U.S. return but Europe tariffs loom

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Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked at Boeing Field in Seattle

By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing Co <BA.N> lost another 12 orders for its grounded 737 MAX jetliner in October, and delivered 13 aircraft to customers, down from the 20 jets delivered in the same month a year ago, company data showed on Tuesday.

For the second straight month, the closely watched monthly snapshot revealed 787 Dreamliner quality flaws and the coronavirus pandemic kept hampering Boeing’s efforts to develop an alternative cash cow to the 737 MAX.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) appeared about a week away from lifting a March 2019 safety ban, although the pandemic kept hammering demand for jets from Boeing and European rival Airbus <AIR.PA>.

Airbus sold 11 jets last month and booked 72 jet deliveries, easing concerns over a cash-depleting overhang of unwanted jets.

The European Union’s decision to impose tariffs of 15% on Boeing planes this week could hobble its jet deliveries in Europe.

Boeing said it lost orders for four 737 MAX jets from China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co, one from Czech Airlines owner Smartwings, three from Oman Air, and four from an undisclosed buyer or buyers.

Canceled MAX orders, including those where buyers converted to a different model, was 448 jets – and 460 for all jets across Boeing’s portfolio, Boeing said.

For 2020 through October, the number of MAX orders canceled, or removed from Boeing’s official backlog when it applies stricter accounting standards, stood at 1,043 aircraft.

For deliveries – a key metric since customers hand over most of the money at the time they pick up new aircraft – Boeing handed over 13 twin-aisle jets in October, compared to 20 a year earlier and 10 in September.

That brings total deliveries to 111 aircraft in the 10 months through October 2020, down from 321 for the same period a year ago.

The October delivery tally included one P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, one 747 and three 767 freighters to United Parcel Service <UPS.N>, two 777 freighters to China Cargo Airlines, one 777 to German logistics company DHL, and one 777-300ER to Dubai-headquartered Novus Aviation Capital, Boeing said.

Boeing also delivered four 787s in October: one 787-8 to American Airlines <AAL.O>, one 787-9 to Leasing giant AerCap, one 787-10 to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, and one 787-10 Saudi Arabian Airlines.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; editing by Jane Wardell and David Gregorio)

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