Malaysia Airlines halts 737 MAX delivery

15 Jan 2020

Malaysia Airlines has announced it has halted taking delivery of 25 Boeing 737 MAX jets.

The reason for the decision announced on Wednesday is due to the aircraft’s delayed return to service since last year’s grounding following two fatal crashes.

This is yet another setback for Boeing, which earlier this week published its worst annual net orders in decades, Reuters reports, coupled with the lowest number of plane deliveries in 11 years. The grounding of the 737 MAX led to it trailing behind main competitor, Airbus.

The airline stated: “In view of the production stoppage and the delayed return to service of the 737-MAX, Malaysia Airlines has suspended the delivery of its orders.”

The carrier had been scheduled to take delivery of its first 737 MAX in July this year, but its chief executive said last year that this date may be postponed.

According to analysts, carriers such as Malaysian Airlines that over-ordered planes could use the grounding of the 737 MAX to negotiate with Boeing to restructure their aircraft orders.

In 2019, Virgin Australia said it would postpone taking the initial deliveries of 737 MAX jets for close to two years in an attempt to lower capital spending.

Furthermore, Norwegian Air Shuttle said last year its leasing subsidiary based in Dublin had come to an agreement with Boeing to suspend delivery of 14 737 MAX jets, originally due this year and next.

Earlier this week, Boeing announced a net negative of 183 orders for the 737 MAX last year, including cancellations, but a large number were linked to the collapse of India’s Jet Airways.

Reuters adds that the Malaysian government has been looking for a buyer for the debt-ridden Malaysia Airlines, which continues to recover from two tragedies six years ago; the disappearance of flight MH370 and the flight MH17 flight shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Read the latest news update: UK government urged to support onshore windfarms