Airbus is stretching its lead over Boeing in aircraft deliveries as Boeing continues to be held back by the grounding of its 737 MAX.
Chicago-based Boeing said Tuesday it delivered 19 planes in July, down from 39 in July 2018. It also reported that it received no new orders for the MAX in July, the fourth straight month without an order.
European rival Airbus SE reported 69 deliveries last month, including 52 A320neo and A321neo jets that compete with the MAX.
This year through July, Boeing has delivered 258 airliners. That’s down 38 percent from a year earlier, and far behind Airbus’ 458 deliveries.
The numbers put Boeing on course to lose the crown of world’s biggest plane maker, which it has held uninterrupted for seven years.
Boeing halted MAX deliveries in March after the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people.
New orders for Boeing jets have plunged 71 percent through the first seven months of 2019. Of the 139 orders in that period, 36 have been for 737 variants including the Max. In the first seven months of last year, Boeing logged 311 orders for 737s, mostly the Max.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said last week that the company has not suffered any order cancellations for the plane due to the grounding.
Flyadeal, a budget carrier in Saudi Arabia, dropped an intention to buy up to 50 MAX jets and switched last month to the Airbus neo. It never signed an order with Boeing, however. Also last month, the parent company of British Airways said it intends to buy 200 Max jets, although it has not signed a firm order either.
Last month, Boeing reported its biggest quarterly loss — nearly $3 billion — after taking a $4.9 billion after-tax charge for the cost of compensating airlines that lost use of their Max jets.
The 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide following two fatal accidents that killed more than 300 people and both Boeing and airlines continue to extend the timelines for when it will return to service.
Last month, the company posted its largest-ever quarterly loss due to the spiraling cost of resolving issues with the MAX, warning it may have to halt production of the grounded jet altogether if regulators around the world do not give clearance for it to fly again soon.
A new problem identified with the MAX in June has delayed the aircraft’s entry into service until at least the end of September, disrupting schedules for airline operators, who have demanded compensation from Boeing for their loss.
One major client, Southwest, has already removed the MAX rom its schedules until early January.
Both Boeing and Airbus have seen deliveries of their four-engine jumbo jets shrink in recent years as airlines prefer modern fuel-efficient twin-engine passenger jets.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.