Rivals Airbus SE and Boeing Co. have reported their 2019 totals for commercial airplane new orders and deliveries, offering a snapshot view of the commercial aircraft market in the midst of Boeing's ongoing dilemma over its idled 737 MAX program.
The twin-engine, narrow-body 737 MAX has been Boeing's best-selling aircraft, but the 345 jets already delivered to airlines have been grounded for 10 months following two fatal accidents, in October 2018 and March 2019. Boeing and its customers are awaiting clearance by the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies to implement flight-control software changes expected to address the cause of the crashes, and to resume deliveries of new 737 MAX jets.
The idling caused Boeing to report a decrease of 87 net orders for new jets during 2019, the first time in decades it registered such a decline. While the 787 Dreamliner program had an increase of 74 jets during 2019, the 737 program recorded a loss of -183 orders. The 777 wide-body jet series also had a loss of -4 net orders during the year.
Boeing's 767 series posted an increase of 26 net orders for 2019.
Boeing delivered 380 aircraft during 2019, reportedly its lowest delivery total since 2007.
By contrast, Airbus reported 2019 net orders of 768 aircraft for 2019, up from 747 in 2018. It delivered 863 commercial jets in 2019, 8% more than the peak delivery total Airbus recorded for 2018. 2019 was the 17th consecutive year for a year-to-year increase in deliveries by Airbus.