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Boeing Cuts Its 777X Backlog by More Than a Third After Pushing Back Deliveries Until 2023

David Ryder | Reuters
  • Boeing last week said deliveries of the 777X would be delayed until late 2023.
  • The large twin-engine jet is the company's newest plane.
  • The longer planes are delayed, the easier it is for customers to cancel orders.

Boeing cut its backlog of 777X jets by more than a third after the aerospace giant announced fresh delays to its newest plane's debut, according to a new securities filing.

The Chicago-based manufacturer last week said it doesn't expect the 777X to enter into service until late 2023, more than two years later than previously expected. Boeing said its 777X order tally at the end of 2020 stood at 191 compared with 309 a year earlier, according to the filing Monday.

Boeing routinely removes aircraft from its backlog because of an accounting rule that dictates how orders at risk of cancellation are logged. Aircraft purchase agreements generally allow customers to cancel orders more easily if planes are delayed.

Boeing took a $6.5 billion charge in the fourth quarter for delays to the 777X.

The company has removed hundreds of 737 Max planes from its order book under similar accounting rules and outright cancellations. Those narrow-body planes, Boeing's best-selling jetliner, are flying passengers again after a nearly two-year grounding in the wake of two fatal crashes.

Boeing last week said additional regulatory scrutiny of the larger 777X planes following the Max crashes as well as weaker appetites for new jets from customers amid the Covid pandemic contributed to delivery delays of the wide-body jetliners.

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