Airbus on course to overtake Boeing as biggest planemaker

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Deliveries of Boeing's 737 aircraft tumbled in the second quarter, as the company continues to deal with repercussions following two deadly crashes.

Airlines had been snapping up Boeing's fuel-efficient 737 Max, which competes with the Airbus neo.

For the first two quarters of the year, Boeing has delivered 113 of its 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 planes and 78 of the 787 Dreamliners.

Boeing 737 Max aircraft will remain grounded until the company completes a software fix that addresses issues with its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which was linked to the crashes in Indonesia last October and Ethiopia in March.

Boeing, which has halted deliveries of the top-selling plane since mid-March, reported 90 deliveries in the quarter ending June, down from 194 in the year-ago period, a decline of 54 percent, with a big drop in 737 planes accounting for the difference.

The drop-off has accelerated during the year, with the second quarter being worse than the first.

Earlier this week, Boeing lost a provisional deal for 50 737 Max planes from flyadeal, the budget arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, which instead ordered the Airbus rival. Customers, including three of the four largest USA airlines, have given no hint that they plan to nix orders from Boeing. However, the parent company of British Airways said last month that it intends to buy 200 - a move seen as a show of support for the troubled plane.

The Saudi airline said it will switch to an all-Airbus fleet in the future.

The American planemaker's net orders for the first six months were in the negative territory, with a total of minus 119 net orders, lagging Airbus which won 88 net orders between January and June. For the year to date, Boeing has delivered 22 767s, almost as many as the 27 it delivered in all of last year.

Delta will report its second-quarter results on Thursday.

The company's shares rose 3% in early trading and also lifted the stocks of other airlines, providing some relief to a sector that has been battered by thousands of flight cancellations and reschedules in the wake of the grounding.

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