Boeing Co. said on Tuesday orders nearly halved in the first quarter and the planemaker handed over far fewer aircraft, as it struggled with the worldwide grounding of its best-selling 737 MAX jets following two fatal crashes.
Total orders, an indication of future demand, fell to 95 aircraft in the first quarter from 180 a year earlier. There were no new MAX orders in March, the company said.
The fall in order suggests that airlines had adopted a wait-and-watch approach as Boeing looks to ride out the worst crisis in its history.
Deliveries of the 737 planes fell to 89 in the first quarter from 132 a year earlier. Eleven MAXs were delivered in March, compared with 26 in February.
Boeing (BA) froze deliveries of the aircraft after a global grounding of the narrowbody model following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet on March 10, killing all 157 people onboard.
The 737 MAX, a new variant of the 737 family, is central to Boeing's future in its battle with European rival Airbus SE and the likely workhorse for global airlines for decades.
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