The U.S. manufacturer Boeing delivered about 60% fewer aircraft to customers in 2020 than in 2019 and less than a third of its rival Airbus, the lowest result in 43 years, the company said Tuesday.
The order and delivery report ends a year in which the coronavirus pandemic and the end of 20 months on the ground of the 737 MAX, after fatal accidents, prevented airlines from adding new planes to their fleets, Reuters reported.
In addition, for the second month, Boeing delivered zero 787 Dreamliners to customers, as intense inspections for recent production defects compounded delays due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Aircraft deliveries are being closely scrutinized by investors, as they generate much-needed cash during the coronavirus crisis.
In total, the U.S. aircraft manufacturer delivered 39 aircraft to customers in December, including 27 737 MAX, a P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and 11 wide-body aircraft.
During the year, it delivered a total of 157 aircraft, down from 380 in 2019 and a record 806 in 2018.
In comparison, Airbus reported higher than expected deliveries of 566 aircraft in 2020, remaining the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, a title Boeing held from 2012 to 2018.
Even so, Airbus deliveries fell by 34% from the record of a year earlier, when demand for travel was on the rise.
In terms of aircraft orders, Boeing booked 90 orders in December, including a previously announced agreement from Ryanair for 75 737 MAX aircraft.
The manufacturer also booked orders for seven MAXs from unidentified buyers in December, and eight 777 freighters for Deutsche Post AG DHL Express.
But the new orders were overshadowed last month when buyers stopped receiving orders for 105 MAXs and two 787s, Boeing said.
For the year, gross orders were 184 aircraft, down 25 percent from 2019, and the lowest since 1994.
In the case of the MAX, buyers cancelled orders for some 641 aircraft in 2020.
By Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Edited by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum.