Aviation

Boeing deliveries drop despite 737 Max”s return to flight

By Outlook

Boeing Co. got a bump in orders and deliveries of new planes in December, but it wasn”t enough to salvage a poor year for the big aircraft maker. Chicago-based Boeing still reported more cancellations than new orders for its 737 Max jet, which was grounded for 21 months after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

The market for new planes remains depressed by the pandemic, which has devastated air travel and caused airlines to reconsider aircraft purchases. Despite the December numbers, Boeing”s full-year numbers for 2020 still declined from 2019.

Boeing finished 2020 with 157 deliveries, including planes handed over to cargo airlines and military customers. That was down from 380 deliveries in 2019. European rival Airbus finished the year with 566 deliveries.

Deliveries are crucial because aircraft makers get much of their cash when planes are delivered. Short on cash during the Max grounding, Boeing has borrowed billions and cut thousands of jobs to reduce costs.

The Federal Aviation Administration”s decision in November to approve changes to a flight-control system on the Max allowed Boeing to resume shipping previously built Maxes to airline customers.

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