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Orders for Boeing's (BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report 737 MAX jet climbed in November, providing an unexpected bright spot amid an otherwise challenging 2019 for the aerospace giant.

Boeing booked orders for 30 new 737 MAX jets, with Turkey's Sun Express buying 10 737 MAX 8 planes, while an unidentified customer signed up to buy 20 more 737s.

The sales come as Boeing works to get its 737 MAX jets back in the air, finishing a software upgrade and conducting pilot training. The moves are aimed to prevent a repeat of the crashes that grounded the new jet, which had been Boeing's best selling model.

The 737 MAX was grounded last March after a pair of crashes left 346 people dead. 

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The Federal Aviation Administration, which is overseeing Boeing's efforts to fix the issues with the 737 MAX, is not expected to give a green light for the jet to return to service until at least January.

The uptick in 737 MAX orders wasn't enough to push Boeing's stock price into positive territory, with shares of the jet maker edging down 0.4% to $349.56.

Overall, Boeing's saw deliveries, a key category for its bottom line, plunge more than half in 2019.

Boeing delivered 345 planes through the first 11 months of 2019, compared to 704 in the year-earlier period. Airlines and other customers typically pay the bulk of the price for a new jet upon delivery.

By contrast, rival Airbus delivered 77 planes in November and 725 through the first 11 months of the year.