Boeing delivered more than a third fewer commercial aircraft in the first three months of 2019 amid concerns about the safety of the 737 Max.

The company delivered 149 commercial aircraft in the first quarter, down from 238 in the previous three months and 184 in the first quarter of 2018.

Deliveries of 737s, which include the Max variant and older models, fell to 89 in the first quarter, from 132 in the same period a year before and 173 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Total orders for 737s, the majority being the Max type, fell to 95 in the quarter from 180 a year earlier.

The 737 Max, which entered service in 2017, has attracted 5,000 orders worth $600 billion.

Two crashes, one in Indonesia in October involving a Lion Air aircraft and another in Ethiopia last month, killed 346 people and led to the grounding of the aircraft worldwide.

Boeing suspended 737 Max deliveries shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The US manufacturer announced last week that it would cut production of the 737 Max from 52 to 42 aircraft a month.

American Airlines, which operates 24 of the aircraft and has 76 on order, cut its first-quarter revenue forecast after cancelling hundreds of flights.

The carrier, the third largest operator of the Max 8, said: “The financial costs of this disruption in future periods cannot be forecasted at this time and will be dependent upon a number of factors, including the period of time the aircraft are unavailable and the circumstances of any reintroduction of the aircraft to service.”

United Airlines’ use of larger aircraft on routes previously flown by 737 Max aircraft is costing the carrier money in the short-term, president Scott Kirby said in a letter to employees yesterday.

United, which has 14 Max in its fleet and has more on order, has been using larger 777s or 787s to cover routes formerly flown by the suspended aircraft.

“Of course, we can’t keep this up forever,” Reuters reported Kirby as saying.

MoreBoeing 737 Max ‘could be grounded for months’