US big airplane manufacturer Boeing is facing a tough time after its December orders and deliveries suffered a hit as it grappled with the grounding of its 737 MAX jet.  

Boeing, which is based in Chicago, reported fewer new orders and more cancellations for the plane that was grounded for 21 months following crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that left 346 people dead.

The adverse effects of the Covid-19 has made things worse for the Chicago based manufacturer as the pandemic depressed orders for new aeroplanes by airlines due to curtailed air travel.

Boeing made 157 plane deliveries in 2020, including those delivered to cargo airlines and the military, a significant decrease from 380 aircraft deliveries made in 2019.

However, their European rival Airbus had an impressive year with 566 plane deliveries made.

Aircraft manufacturers get much of their cash when they deliver aeroplanes, with Boeing forced to borrow billions of dollars as it grappled with a cash crunch due to the grounding of the MAX.

Boeing was forced dismiss thousands of employees to reduce operation costs during 2020.

A decision by the US Federal Aviation Administration in November to okay changes to a flight-control system on the MAX saw Boeing resume shipping previously built MAX planes to clients.

The company delivered 39 airplanes in December, which included 28 MAX aircraft, with 10 going to American Airlines and eight to United Airlines.

Boeing also reported 90 new plane orders made in December, including 75 which went to Irish discount airline Ryanair and eight Boeing 777 freighters to courier company DHL.

Conversely, Boeing cancelled 105 MAX orders majorly on orders by leasing companies even as

Alaska Airlines ordered 23 more MAX jets.

Orders decreased from 246 in 2019 to 184 in 2020 even as Airbus reported 383 orders in 2020.

According to Boeing, it has a backlog of close to 3,300 unfilled orders for the MAX and close to 4,200 for all airplanes.