SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing Co lost another three orders for its grounded 737 MAX jetliner in September, and delivered 11 total aircraft to customers, less than half the number from the same month a year ago, company data showed on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft lands during an evaluation flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

The closely watched monthly snapshot also shows that quality flaws on the 787 Dreamliner continue to hamper efforts to develop an alternative cash cow to the 737 MAX, grounded after two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019.

As Boeing works to win regulatory approval, potentially early next month, to fly the 737 MAX again in the United States, the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt demand for jets from both Boeing and European rival Airbus.

Boeing said it lost orders for two 737 MAX jets from leasing company BOC Aviation and another jet from an unidentified customer in September.

For 2020 through September, the number of MAX orders canceled, or removed from Boeing’s official backlog when it applies stricter accounting standards, stood at 1,006 aircraft.

Canceled MAX orders, including those where buyers converted one type of jet to a different model, was 436 jets – and 448 for all jets across Boeing’s portfolio, Boeing said.

On the delivery side, Boeing handed to airline customers 10 twin-aisle jets in September, down from 25 a year earlier and 12 in August.

That brings total deliveries to 98 for the first nine months of 2020, down from 301 aircraft for the same period a year ago.

READ ALSO  US tries to squeeze Huawei out of Brazil’s 5G network development

Deliveries are a closely watched metric for investors since airlines hand over the bulk of the money for an order when they pick up their planes at Boeing.

The September delivery tally included one P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, and three freighters: one 747 to United Parcel Service, one 767 to FedEx Corp and one 777 to Lufthansa Cargo, Boeing said.

It also included seven 787 Dreamliner jets: one for leasing company AerCap Holdings, three for United Airlines, two for Turkish Airlines and one 787-10 to Taiwan’s EVA Air, the planemaker said.

Boeing will face largest inventory of built new aircraft in its 104-year history, as “the number of cancellations is increasing literally by every week,” Air Lease Corp Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Házy said on an Aviation Week podcast on Tuesday.

“Boeing has to make some tough decisions by the end of the year on how to deal with this,” Udvar-Házy said.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio

Via Reuters Finance