• By The Financial District


Boeing lost orders for another 43 jets in July. But that's actually an improvement for the troubled aircraft maker's order book. The latest canceled orders were for the 737 Max, its best-selling jet, which has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people, Chris Isidore reported for CNN Business early on August 12, 2020.

But despite the extended grounding, Boeing didn't start to see a stream of canceled orders until the COVID-19 pandemic caused a near halt of air travel and massive losses throughout the world's airlines.

Boeing reported 377 canceled orders through the first half of this year, with 60 of them in June. Most of the newest canceled orders came from aircraft leasing companies, which buy the jets, lease them to airlines and collect rent on them. In addition to the canceled July orders Boeing reclassified nine jet orders as no longer certain enough to be counted in the company's backlog of orders. That can be caused by financial problems at an airline customer or an airline customer notifying Boeing that it wishes to get out of the order. Details of that cancellation have not yet been finalized.

Even with orders being canceled and reclassified, Boeing still has about 4,500 planes in its backlog of orders. But its major customers — passenger airlines — are not eager to take delivery of those jets as they seek to preserve their cash. Boeing delivered only four jets in July, two 787 Dreamliners and two freighters. It's the same number of planes that Boeing delivered in May, when production fell to a nearly 12-year low. Boeing also lost $2.4 billion in three months.