Boeing sees uptick in airplane orders as travel picks up

AP – Boeing orders picked up in March, fuelled by a major deal with Southwest Airlines that helped to offset another round of cancellations for its 737 Max airliner.

Boeing said on Tuesday that it received 196 orders in March, including the previously announced 100 from Southwest, while losing 156 to cancellations.

Turkish Airlines scrapped most of a commitment for 50 Max jets, replacing some with options.

The net gain of 40 orders raised Boeing’s first-quarter total to 76.

Boeing orders have plummeted over the past two years, first from the grounding of all 737 Max jets after two of them crashed, and later from a pandemic that brought global travel to a standstill and quashed airline demand for new planes.

Travel is picking up with the rollout of very effective vaccines, but it remains far below pre-pandemic levels. In the United States (US), nearly 1.5 million people a day have gone through airport checkpoints this month, down from more than 2.3 million people per day in early April 2019.

Traffic passes in view of a massive Boeing airplane production plant in Everett, Washington. PHOTO: AP