Airline bosses on both sides of the Atlantic are attacking Boeing over a number of recent safety and production issues — loose bolts, a useless wrench. found under floorboardsShipment delays – as the plane maker’s crisis over the 737 Max 9 shows no signs of ending any time soon.
The difficult test is becoming heavy. Boeing’s stock has fallen about 15 percent since Jan. 5, when a Max 9 door plug blew out shortly after takeoff during an Alaska Airlines flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration grounded some Max 9 jets pending inspections and said it would investigate whether Boeing failed to ensure the plane was safe. (Here’s an explanation from the New York Times about how the door panel might have blown off the Alaska plane.)
Dave Calhoun, who became Boeing’s chief executive, is ready to right the company after deadly Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 Will meet senators on Wednesday, including Washington Democrat and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell. Ms. Cantwell said last week that she planned to hold a hearing on the Max 9 grounding.
Boeing customers have been vocal about their frustrations. “I’m angry,” said Ben Minicucci, chief executive of Alaska Airlines. told NBC News Tuesday after its Max 9 check found “numerous” loose bolts. “My demand from Boeing is what are they going to do to improve the quality of their domestic programs.”
Scott Kirby, chief executive of United Airlines, told cnbc On Tuesday that “the Max 9 grounding may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for us.” He said the company was not sure whether it would get the Max 10 planes — a new airliner that has not yet been certified — because it had ordered it any time soon. “We’re at least going to have a plan that doesn’t have a Max 10,” Mr. Kirby said.
Airline bosses hope the harsh comments will force Boeing to improve quality control and engineering. But they don’t want to spread panic over aircraft safety amid a sharp surge in travel bookings last year. And there aren’t many alternatives to Boeing or its main rival, Airbus.
Boeing’s troubles will have a long-lasting impact. United Chief Financial Officer Mike Leskinen told analysts the grounding would “hinder growth”.In the coming years, Michael O’Leary, chief executive of low-cost European airline Ryanair, one of Boeing’s largest customers, there is also doubt Max 10 will be delivered soon.