By Doug Cameron and Robert Wall
Boeing Co. said Tuesday that its commercial jetliner deliveries fell by more than a third in the first half of 2019 from a year earlier as 737 MAX aircraft continue to pile up at its facilities, with rival Airbus SE set to overtake it as the world's largest plane maker for the first time in seven years.
For the third straight month, Chicago-based Boeing reported no new orders of the MAX aircraft, which have been grounded since mid-March following two fatal crashes.
Overall, the company shipped 239 planes over the first six months compared with 378 in the same period last year, with more than 150 of the grounded MAX jets parked in storage.
Boeing shares fell after the announcement.
Airbus remains on track to deliver a record number of jets this year after shaking off an array of production problems, with plans to boost output of its best-selling A320 range this year. Airbus, which is due to report its June shipments later Tuesday, has delivered 313 jets through May, 10 more than the same period last year.
Boeing continues to build its 737 jets at a rate of 42 a month after cutting output by almost a fifth in April and shelving its own plan to boost production. The undelivered planes are draining Boeing's closely watched cash flow, which analysts expect to turn sharply negative this year, adding to the pressure to deliver its 787 Dreamliner jets, aircraft services and defense equipment. It handed over 18 Dreamliners in June.
Toulouse, France-based Airbus has promised to build 880 to 890 airliners this year. Deliveries at Airbus are typically weighted to the second half.
If Airbus hits its target, it is poised to ship more jets than Boeing for the first time since 2012. Boeing, which had planned to build as many as 905 airliners this year, has suspended delivery guidance because of the MAX crisis.
Boeing is scheduled to announce second-quarter earnings on July 24, including the cash outflow impact from the MAX grounding. Analysts also expect a potential second charge from the cut in 737 production following the $1 billion announced in April.