Boeing Backlog Drops By 500 As No New April Orders Are Recorded

Amid the coronavirus outbreak’s overwhelming impact on the global aviation market, Boeing’s backlog has fallen by over 500 aircraft this year. Additionally, the Chicago outfit delivered just five commercial airplanes in April while it had been forced to halt production for most of the month.

Boeing 737 MAX
Airlines are continuing to cancel 737 MAX orders. Photo: Boeing

A series of cancellations

The Seattle Times reports that last month, the manufacturer’s customers canceled orders for 108 737 MAX aircraft. General Electric’s leasing branch GECAS canceled 69 of these narrowbodies while China Development Bank Financing dropped 29 of them.

Additionally, a further 99 MAX orders that had previously been booked from the producer’s official backlog has been removed. These deleted units were initially planned for carriers that are now facing financial struggles due to the global health crisis.

Furthermore, two offers for 787 Dreamliners were also removed from Boeing’s backlog due to the same stress. However, Boeing is yet to confirm which operator made this call.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner
With the majority of long-haul routes suspended, there is less of a need for the 787 Dreamliner right now. Photo: Boeing

Uncertain times

With the pandemic continuing to rock the aviation industry, there were also no new orders placed in April. Moreover, for the second month in a row, there are considerable cancellations. According to CNBC, in March, there were 150 MAX orders canceled. These cuts include Brazilian outfit Gol’s 34 scrapped orders and leasing company Avalon’s 75 cancellations.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun recently spoke about his company’s prospects during an annual shareholder’s meeting. Altogether, the firm is unsure when the global aviation climate will improve.

“We are in an unpredictable and fast-changing environment, and it is difficult to estimate when the situation will stabilize,” Calhoun said.

“When it does, the commercial market will be smaller, and our customers’ needs will be different.”

southwest 737 MAX
The 737 MAX still remains on the ground. Photo: Getty Images

Plenty to work with

Altogether, disregarding 427 commitments for the MAX that are now doubtful amid the current climate, the Boeing 737 official order backlog now includes 3,871 planes. 50 of these aircraft are military units, while the rest are all MAXs. In total, Boeing’s official current order backlog across the board is now 4,834. This figure is down 215 units from a month ago.

Altogether, with the health crisis impacting both demand and production, the business faces a tough year ahead. It was already struggling with issues surrounding the 737 MAX, but it now also has another long-term challenge on its hands.

Ever-changing travel restrictions are making it hard for both airlines and manufacturers to conclude on plans to help them see out the crisis. Moreover, some carriers are already declaring bankruptcy due to the financial impact. Therefore, the next few months will be crucial for the aviation industry as a whole.

Simple Flying reached out to Boeing for comment on its orders but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts on the manufacturer’s backlog? How do you see the situation panning out for the rest of the year? Let us know what you think of the cancellations in the comment section.