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Boeing's woes continue as it gets zero orders for planes in January

It comes as its once best-selling jet, the 737 MAX, remains grounded following two fatal crashes

Boeing Co -
Airline customers are waiting before placing orders for the 737 MAX until the aircraft is cleared by regulators to fly again

Boeing Co's (NYSE:BA) woes continue as the aeroplane giant received no orders for new planes last month (January), while the company foresees a slow-down in the global air cargo industry this year due to the coronavirus. 

It comes as its once best-selling jet, the 737 MAX, remains grounded following two horror crashes in 2018/19, within five months, which killed 346 people. 

READ: Boeing reports first annual loss since 1997 as costs from 737 Max crisis escalate

It is the first January since 1962 in which Boeing has failed to win new orders for its aircraft. 

Most airline customers are now in a wait-and-see mode until the aircraft is cleared by regulators to fly again.

According to reports on Wednesday, Boeing is preparing to fly one 737 Max plane around the USA with a test crew and no passengers to see how the aircraft performs with new updates. The firm said it is testing non-commercial flights, both short and long-haul. Then the US Federal Aviation Administration will carry out test flights as part of its re-approval process.

Last year was Boeing's worst for new orders for decades as it wrestled with the 737 MAX crisis, leading to its first halt in 737 Max production in 20 years last January. CEO Dennis Muilenburg left at the end of the year.

Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, was quoted from the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday as saying the global air cargo industry was unlikely to grow this year because of the challenges in the China market due to the coronavirus.

Adding to pressure

He also mentioned the interim Chinese, US trade deal, which could add to the pressure.

"If we are not seeing goods travel and airplanes fly that is under pressure. I think it is going to be really tough to see the cargo market grow this year," he told reporters.

The coronavirus crisis has hit hopes for a rebound in air cargo after its worst year in the decade since the financial crisis, the International Air Transport Association said last week.

Boeing has also warned that the virus will hit airline revenues and profits.

Shares in New York nudged up over 1% to US$347.91 each.

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