Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm Avolon today announced the cancellation of an order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX planes that were due to be delivered by 2023.

It said it was adjusting its order book to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Boeing confirmed the cancellation, which it said was the result of a mutual agreement after ongoing conversations with Avolon regarding their 737 MAX portfolio and the impacts from the past year since the jet's grounding. 

Industry sources said it followed lengthy negotiations over MAX compensation that were accelerated by the coronavirus crisis. 

Avolon, the world's third-biggest lessor of commercial jets, said it had also rescheduled a further 16 MAX aircraft from 2020-2023 to 2024 or beyond, but it remained committed to the MAX aircraft. 

Boeing said Avolon now has orders for 55 MAX jets. 

Avolon signed the deal for the 75 MAX planes in 2017 and an option on 20 more in a deal worth nearly $11 billion at list prices. 

But by March 2019, the MAX had been grounded worldwide following two deadly crashes. 

Avolon said it had not signed agreements with airlines to lease the 75 MAX jets. 

The news comes a day after Boeing outlined a plan of voluntary layoffs for employees, while warning that the coronavirus pandemic would have a lasting impact on the global aerospace industry.

Avolon's chief executive Dómhnal Slattery said coronavirus represented "the most challenging period in the history of commercial aviation." 

Avolon today also cancelled commitments for four wide-body Airbus A330neo aircraft and deferred delivery dates for an another 25 narrowbody aircraft to 2024 and beyond, including the 16 MAX jets. 

That will reduce its aircraft commitments between 2020 and 2023 to 165 aircraft from 284, which Mr Slattery said would be "significantly reducing our near-term capital commitments." 

Privately-held Avolon is 70%-owned by a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Hainan Group. 

Avolon said it had received requests from more than 80% of its current owned and managed customer base for relief from payment obligations under their leases, including requests for short-term rent deferrals. 

It said it expected that some form of short-term rental deferral arrangement would be agreed with a majority of our customers. 

Avolon said it ended the first quarter with unrestricted cash and undrawn secured warehouse facilities in excess of $5 billion. 

It said it had committed to sell 21 narrowbody and widebody aircraft with an appraised value of $747m to the Sapphire 2020-1 vehicle. 

Avolon ended the first quarter with an owned and managed fleet of 549 aircraft, with total orders and commitments for 306 aircraft.