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Boeing reports steep drop in 2020 deliveries, backlog

The company logo hangs above an entrance to the headquarters of the Boeing Company in Chicago, U.S., January 29, 2020. (CFP)

Boeing Co. delivered about 60 percent fewer aircraft to customers in 2020 than 2019 and less than one-third of the deliveries of rival Airbus, the lowest in 43 years, company data showed on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

The aerospace giant has cut tens of thousands of jobs as it contended with dual crises caused by the 737 MAX grounding and the travel industry downturn brought about by COVID-19.

The company's backlog at the end of 2020 stood at 4,223, down from nearly 5,900 planes at the end of 2018.

Tuesday's snapshot of orders and deliveries caps a year in which the coronavirus pandemic and the tail-end of a 20-month 737 MAX grounding after fatal crashes prevented embattled airlines from adding new jets to their sidelined fleets.

Jet deliveries are being closely scrutinized by investors as they generate much-needed cash during the coronavirus crisis.

For the year, the U.S. planemaker delivered a total of 157 airplanes, down from 380 in 2019 and a record 806 jets in 2018.

By comparison, Airbus posted stronger-than-expected deliveries of 566 jets in 2020, remaining the world's largest planemaker, a title Boeing held from 2012 through 2018.

Even so, deliveries at Airbus fell 34 percent from a record a year earlier, when travel demand was riding high on the increasing mobility of consumers in fast-growing markets across Asia.

For jet orders, Boeing booked 90 orders in December, including a previously announced lifeline deal from budget airline Ryanair for 75 737 MAX jets. The best-selling narrowbody was cleared to resume service in November in the U.S. after a 20-month grounding order.

(Source: CGTN)

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