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737 Max

Airlines Cancel over 300 Boeing 737-MAX Orders in 2020

Airlines Cancel over 300 Boeing 737-MAX Orders in 2020
Joe Cortez

The Boeing 737-MAX may not be added to airline fleets once it meets airworthiness standards. The Chicago-based manufacturer reports over 300 737-MAX orders were cancelled in the first six months of 2020, despite the return of flight trials with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airlines may not be as bullish on the return of the Boeing 737-MAX, after a number of cancelled orders over the first six months of the year. Data released by the Chicago-based manufacturer shows airlines cancelled 373 MAX orders between January and June 2020.

737-MAX Cancellations Most of all Boeing Orders

Across the commercial aircraft division, Boeing lost 784 net orders in 2020, driven primarily by the novel Coronavirus pandemic. In total, airlines cancelled 373 orders for the Boeing 737-MAX. It is unclear how many of each variant were cancelled by each carrier.

In addition, Boeing lost 382 total orders this year due to contractual changes. Another 461 orders were subtracted due to ASC 606 contract changes through June 30, 2020.

The aircraft cancellations come as airlines work to either trim their fleets of aircraft with high operational costs, or defer orders into the future. In their quarterly report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Delta Air Lines noted they would defer aircraft deliveries to future years. In the United Kingdom, Virgin Atlantic also said they would retire a number of aircraft, reducing their fleet to under 40 aircraft.

Cancellations Come After 737-MAX Airworthiness Testing

The cancellations of the 737-MAX aircraft are particularly damaging for Boeing, as the company works to get the airframe back in airline fleets. At the end of June 2020, Boeing worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to operate three days of test flights, working through changes to their MCAS system.

During those tests, a damaging report about the 737-MAX from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General was released, outlining several internal mistakes by Boeing. The timeline report covered the rush to get the aircraft on the market, followed by the two fatal accidents which forced a worldwide grounding.

Boeing was also able to earn some orders over the first six months of 2020. The 59 gross orders earned by Boeing include 12 787 Dreamliners from All Nippon Airways, and five freight aircraft from FedEx and UPS.

According to their website, the company currently has a backlog of over 4,000 airframes. Boeing is not currently producing any aircraft in the 737 line.

View Comments (9)


  1. edgewood49

    July 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Boeing only has itself for this mess they got themselves in and the embarrassment they have caused the FAA and us as Americans once proud aircraft manufactures now relegated to number 2, don’t kid yourself we are number 2 and can easily fall to 3 if the Chinese continue with their development. Sad I still think there needs to be indictments not only of the top management but Boeing itself. Their arrogance brought all this on themselves. Now before anyone slams me for anti American I am former USAF and well well familiar with Boeing and how they operate.

  2. cscasi

    July 16, 2020 at 6:26 am

    I agree Boeing shot itself in the foot with the way they handled the production of the B 737MAX because they did not ensure everything worked as it was supposed to and they even hid other findings.
    However, the FAA is also to blame. It is the watchdog and it was obviously too lax in its oversight; allowing Boeing to basically manage itself and failing to be more involved in its production. The fox guarding the henhouse, as it were.
    Hopefully, the FAA has taken the necessary remedial steps within its organization to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. The loss of two aircraft full of passengers is the fault of Boeing and the FAA’s lack of proper oversight.

  3. jjonathan

    July 16, 2020 at 8:35 am


  4. Jackie_414

    July 16, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Actually, Boeing did not do something that it knew would result in deaths. What Boeing did that is so fundamental is breach its own design philosophy. All this could have been avoided if Boeing didn’t insist on making every version of the 737 “fly the same as the previous version”. With technological advances, that is not possible. This resulted in Boeing having to employ a system akin to Airbus that departed Boeing’s long-standing design philosophy. Couple that with third world airlines that hire video game players with very little actual flight experience and zero flight intuition and we have a recipe for disaster. In fact, the Ethiopian captain twice terminated the MCAS system and flew the aircraft, only to turn it back on leading the aircraft to crash. WHEN A SYSTEM IS CAUSING YOU PROBLEMS, TURN IT OFF, GRAB THE YOKE, AND FLY THE DAMN AIRCRAFT!

  5. SamirD

    July 16, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Interesting that the chinese would be coming up if boeing goes down–so could this be corporate sabotage by chinese subcontractors/programmers to destroy boeing? It makes economic sense, and works just as well as creating a pandemic virus to destroy all the first-world nations’ economies.

    I wish Americans had their pride again. We should hang our heads in shame as to what we have become–especially considering we can do much better than this.

  6. jagat101

    July 16, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Good riddance to the 737-Max. Hope this plane of an abomination rots. Never in a million yrs would I fly in one.

  7. IanFromHKG

    July 18, 2020 at 4:40 am

    Jackie_414, you said “Couple that with third world airlines that hire video game players with very little actual flight experience and zero flight intuition and we have a recipe for disaster”.

    Are you not aware that the captain of the Ethiopian aircraft had logged a total of 8,122 flight hours, including 1,417 hours on the Boeing 737? And that the captain of the Lion Air air craft had logged 6,028 hours of flight experience, including 5,176 hours on the Boeing 737?

    How on earth do you consider that “very little actual flight experience”??

    In fairness to you, I acknowledge your statement that Boeing breached its own design philosophy, although I must confess I don’t see how you conflate this with “employ[ing] a system akin to Airbus” given the latter’s rather better safety record for narrowbodies.

    You also allege that “Boeing did not do something that it knew would result in deaths”. Perhaps that is true, although I suspect we will never know. However, they took design risks that should never have been taken. Which idiot thought that one AoA sensor would be enough? Isn’t it standard practice to require redundancy in critical aircraft systems? Here, Boeing would have been better to “employ a system akin to Airbus” who use three AoA sensors and a system that ignores a minority report.

  8. ednumrich

    July 18, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    “Read this all before” is admittedly blunt, if not also unfair (even if true). That said, what’s going on with Boeing and this aircraft mirrors a lot of industry and U. S. government today. Once you lose the trust of the public consumer, it’s very hard ~ if not impossible ~ to regain it.

  9. edgewood49

    July 22, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Well Well we have a political commentary thrown in, you really had to do that “ednmrich” ! I agree with your comment mirroring what is going on in industry today Worldwide and has nothing to do with whom is in office here in the US. This crap was going on with Obama was in office. There is the rush to the bottom line mostly brought on by “equity capital” look to the hotel industry for travel related hotels are being bled dry while maintenance is slim to none. I am in the construction industry we have many hotels as clients around the world and I can tell you first hand many of their properties are in horrible condition and simply painted over.

    Back to point, the drive to profits and ” I want it now” is the major contributor to this mess. We all need to step back and get this right. Fly the Max, I would ( ex USAF) if that caption is ready to go so am I.

    Bottom Line lets keep political comments out

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