Malaysia Airlines stated Wednesday it has suspended taking delivery of 25 Boeing Co 737 MAX jetliners, citing the aircraft’s delayed return to service since it was grounded last year following two deadly crashes.
The decision represents another setback for Boeing, which Tuesday reported its worst annual net orders in decades, including its lowest number of airplane deliveries in 11 years, as the grounding of the 737 MAX saw it fall far behind major rival Airbus SE
The carrier was due to take delivery of its first 737 MAX in July 2020; however, in December, its new CEO stated the introduction to service could slip past that.
Malaysia Airlines didn’t reply to a request for comment on how many of the 25 jets it has on the order were due to be delivered this year.
Analysts stated cash-strapped carriers like Malaysian Airlines that over-ordered planes could benefit from the 737 MAX grounding to negotiate with Boeing to restructure their orders.
Virgin Australia Holdings in 2019, mentioned it would delay taking the first deliveries of 737 MAX jetliners for nearly two years to pare capital spending.
Norwegian Air Shuttle also stated its Dublin stationed leasing subsidiary had reached an agreement with Boeing to postpone delivery of 14 737 MAX planes that had been initially due in 2020 and 2021.
Boeing on Tuesday reported a net negative of 183 orders for the 737 MAX in 2019, including cancellations; however, many have been related to the failure of a significant buyer, India’s Jet Airways Ltd.
Boeing didn’t respond instantly to a request for comment about Malaysia Airlines’ decision to drop deliveries of its orders.