Zero orders for Boeing in April

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Boeing recorded zero orders for the second time this year in April as customers cancelled 108 orders for its grounded 737 MAX compounding its worst start to a year since 1962.

The company delivered six aircraft last month, bringing to 56 the total for the first four months of 2020, down 67% from a year earlier, as it battles the biggest crisis in its history.

The global aviation sector is among the worst hit as lockdowns worldwide to curb the spread of coronavirus decimated demand for air travel and forced airlines to hold back from taking delivery due to a severe cash crunch.

For Boeing, which delivered four 787 Dreamliners, one wide-body 777 jet and an older version of the 737 MAX in April, the outbreak worsened a crisis following the second fatal crash leading to the grounding of the 737 MAX last year.

Boeing had its worst year for orders in decades in 2019, leading to the first halt in 737 production in 20 years in January and the departure of Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg in December last year.

As demand for air travel dried up, Boeing said it would cut its 160 000 workforce by about 10% and raised $25 billion in a bond offering to boost liquidity to prepare for a long industry recovery.

Boeing said 737 MAX cancellations in April were from customers including China Development Bank Financial Leasing and General Electric’s aircraft leasing unit GECAS.

This in addition to the 150 737 MAX orders scrapped in March by customers including Irish leasing company Avolon and Brazil’s GOL.

Boeing gross orders stood at 49 aircraft for the year as of April, with a negative order total of 255 after cancellations.

After further accounting adjustments representing jets ordered in previous years but now unlikely to be delivered, Boeing’s adjusted net orders sank to a negative 516.

European rival Airbus deliveries also tumbled 80% to 14 aircraft in April, compared with a year earlier.

Airbus gross orders for the year as of April were 365 aircraft. Following 66 cancellations, net order tally was 299 airplanes up from 290 in March.