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Boeing 737 Max plane (Source: The New York Times)

The orders for delivery placed on Boeing 737 Max models are beginning to drop, even as Boeing Co announced it recorded zero demand in the first quarter of 2019. This is a significant drop in the history of the company.

The Boeing Max model had been the best-selling model in the history of the American plane manufacturer. However, total demand fell to 95 aircraft from 180 a year earlier.

Boeing Co’s first-quarter Max737 deliveries tumbled about 33 percent, pushing total aircraft deliveries down 19 percent compared to 149 from a year earlier. The company delivered just 11 MAX air planes in March 2019.

Why demand and delivery dropped: The Boeing Max models have been struggling since two deadly crashes that happened five months apart. These are the recent Ethiopian Airlines‘ crash that killed all 157 passengers and the previous Lion Air crash that killed all 189 passengers and crew. Both planes were Boeing 737-Max models.

These crashes elicited global outrage and ultimately led to widespread banning/grounding of Boeing 737-Max models. The plane maker also froze the delivery of previous orders, a move hoped to allow for some work to be done on the MCAS software which was blamed for both deadly crashes.

The recorded declines, therefore, suggests that airline companies and leasing ventures are adopting a wait-and-see measure before ordering the embattled aircraft. Also, some other airlines who previously placed orders, are  now gradually cancelling it.

When will Boeing Max fly again?

With investigation into the crashes still ongoing and global regulators (including China the US Federal Aviation Administration panel) still to review the aircraft’s safety, the fly date remains uncertain for now.

Aside from these factors that are likely to delay the return of Boeing 737-Max models in the airspace, the company is also currently fixing the MCAS software. Also, the painstaking process of certification, after Boeing fixes the faults, will contribute to the delay.

It is possible that 2019 might end in negative for the once bestselling plane model in history.

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