Max crisis: Boeing airplane orders plunge to a 16-year low

A Boeing worker walks in view of a 737 MAX jet Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Renton, Wash. Shares of Boeing fell before the opening bell on a report that the company may cut production of its troubled 737 MAX or even end production all together. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

CHICAGO (AP) - Boeing orders have fallen to their lowest level since 2003 and cancellations are outnumbering sales.

Those are signs of how badly the crisis surrounding the 737 Max has damaged the company.

Boeing says it took 246 orders for new commercial airplanes in 2019, the lowest number since 2003.

And deliveries are down too because Boeing halted shipments of the Max last spring.

Its European rival Airbus has sprinted far ahead of Boeing in both orders and deliveries.

Meanwhile, American Airlines is taking the Max out of its schedule for two more months, until early June, and canceling thousands more flights.

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