Boeing 737 MAX airplanes are parked at Grant County International Airport October 23, 2019 in Moses Lake, Washington.
David Ryder | Getty Images News | Getty Images
For the first time since January, orders for Boeing‘s troubled 737 Max airplanes incrementally rose last month — with two firm orders for 30 Max jets in November, the company said Tuesday.
Still, the grounding of Boeing’s most popular model and the move by some customers to cancel Max orders or convert them to other Boeing models has resulted in the company showing it lost a total of 84 orders for commercial planes so far this year.
In November, Boeing recorded a net increase with 11 commercial airplane orders, well behind its competitor Airbus, which recorded orders for 219 commercial airplanes. Year to date, Airbus has logged orders for 940 planes and is on pace to easily win the annual order race between the two aerospace giants.
Unless Boeing has a stunning and completely unexpected surge in demand before the end of the year, it will lose the annual order race to Airbus for the sixth time in the last seven years.
Airbus will also win the annual aircraft delivery battle with 77 planes in November compared with just 24 for Boeing. For the year, Airbus has delivered 725 planes, while Boeing has delivered 345, putting it on pace to have its lowest full-year deliveries since 2008.
The low delivery total shows the impact of the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators grounding the 737 Max in March after the second crash of a Max plane. Since that grounding, Boeing has built more than 300 Max aircraft, but has not been allowed to deliver any of them until regulators approve changes to the flight-control software in the planes.
Boeing has targeted recertification of the Max this month and the possibility of getting the plane back in service by the end of January. Despite that optimistic outlook, many in the airline industry do not believe the plane will be ungrounded until mid-to-late January, with commercial service unlikely until February or March. Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines are not planning to resume commercial flights of the Max until early March.
— CNBC’s Meghan Reeder contributed to this report.