Earlier this week, Boeing announced that it will temporarily halt production of the 737 MAX in January. The aircraft has been grounded for nine months after two crashes that killed more than 300 people. Boeing was hoping the MAX could return to service by the end of the year but U.S. regulators have made it clear that the certification process will only be completed early next year, possibly as late as March. Other global regulators, including those in Europe and China, have indicated that it could take even longer than that.
Over 700 737 MAX aircraft are grounded across the world and it is the first time in 20 years that Boeing has halted production of the 737. The unprecedented crisis has led to debate about whether the MAX will ever take to the skies again and some of Boeing's customers have cancelled their orders or opted for different models produced by the company. That has seen it lose 84 orders for commercial airliners, though it did register a net increase of 11 aircraft in November. That still left it far behind Airbus, however, with 219. Boeing is on course to lose out to Airbus in annual orders for the sixth time in the last seven years.
The problems have also allowed Airbus to overtake Boeing in aircraft deliveries. In November, Boeing delivered 24 commercial aircraft to customers compared to Airbus' 77. As of the end of November 2019, Boeing's total deliveries for the year amounted to 345 airliners while its European rival handed over 725. It is estimated that the grounding of the MAX has cost Boeing $9 billion and its shares fell by more than 4 percent on Monday amid speculation that it was halting production of the aircraft.