Boeing jetliner orders continue to fall as 737 Max grounding wears on

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Boeing 737 MAX airplanes are stored in an area adjacent to Boeing Field, on June 27, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.

Stephen Brashear | Getty Images

Boeing orders continued to slow last month as the manufacturer, hamstrung by the grounding of its best-selling 737 Max after two fatal crashes, handed a bigger lead over to its European rival Airbus.

The company delivered just 20 commercial jetliners in October and customers opted out of a similar number of its 737 Max planes. Boeing delivered a record 806 planes in 2018, a figure the company aimed to increase this year.

Boeing’s net orders fell to 45 after a decline of 11 planes. Some of the existing orders for the 737 Max were converted to larger planes that are used for longer routes such as trips between the U.S. and Asia and which cost more than single-aisle jetliners.

Boeing halted deliveries of the 737 Max, which are piling up at several of its U.S. facilities, after regulators grounded the jets worldwide in March. On Monday, the company said it hopes to resume deliveries of the planes as early as next month, pending regulator approval of post-crash fixes the company made to the planes.

Boeing has a backlog of more than 4,400 of its 737 Max planes. It cut production by 20% after the second crash but executives say they hope to ramp up output throughout 2020.

Boeing shares were down 0.9% in mid-morning trading.

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