Key Boeing Co BA customer China Southern Airlines Co has removed more than 100 of its 737 MAX jets from its fleet plans due to uncertainty over deliveries, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing the airlines.
What Happened: China Southern Airlines expects to take delivery of 78 aircraft through 2024, down from 181 in a previous forecast in March.
MAX was not included due to “uncertainty surrounding the delivery,” the report said, citing an airline representative.
The companies did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.
Sharp Reversal: China Southern had reportedly previously drafted plans to quickly expand its 737 MAX fleet, with 39 jets due to arrive this year.
The removal could be a fresh setback for the U.S. planemaker that has been struggling with orders from China, its biggest overseas market, amid worsening relations between Washington and Beijing in recent years.
China was the first country to ground the MAX in March 2019 following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that together killed 346 people and led to the global grounding of the MAX jets for about two years.
While China recertified the MAX to fly in December, none of China’s state-owned carriers has said if or when they might resume taking the jet once it is officially back in service.
Price Action: Boeing shares closed 2.5% lower at $124.05 on Monday.
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