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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, U.S. - Boeing said that aircraft deferrals surpassed orders in May. The American aerospace giant was relieved with fresh deals for its cargo planes.

Aircraft leasing companies canceled deals for 14 more 737 MAX jets, and Boeing also shed orders for four wide-body aircraft, though the decline was less than in April and came in a month when rival Airbus won no new jetliner business.

Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. added to their existing Boeing orders, as cargo jets provided a rare competitive advantage for the aerospace giant, still hobbled by weak demand for big passenger planes and the continuing grounding of the 737 MAX.

Boeing sold nine new widebody freight aircraft in May:

  • Six Boeing 767 freighters (1 to FedEx and 5 are to unidentified customers)
  • 2 Boeing 777 freighters (both to unidentified customers)
  • 1 Boeing 747-8 freighter (to UPS)

The air cargo market has done exceptionally well in the last few months. Even for passenger airlines, cargo has done an incredible job paying the bills and pushing the resumption of new routes into effect.

Boeing makes three different types of cargo jets and also converts passenger planes to carry cargo. The company carries a broader lineup than Airbus, which is expanding its own offerings to tap demand from established express carriers and new entrants such as Amazon Air.

On the other hand, Boeing only delivered four aircraft in May. 

In May 2020, Boeing delivered the following four aircraft:

  • One Boeing 737-800A for the US Navy (P-8A Poseidon) on May 29th
  • Two Boeing 777Fs for China Southern Airlines on May 22nd
  • One Boeing 767-300F for UPS Airlines delivered on May 12th

This was far below what Boeing usually delivers and was less than April’s count. However, in a very unusual month for Boeing, none of the four aircraft delivered were passenger jets. Three were freighters, while a fourth was a plane for the US Navy.
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