Narcity The Plane In The Ethiopian Airlines Crash Is The Same Model Used By Popular Canadian Airlines

Boeing faces losing billions over 737 Max 8; U.S. airlines shuffle flights

A baggage cart passes a Southwest Airlines 737 Max 8 airliner Wednesday at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
A baggage cart passes a Southwest Airlines 737 Max 8 airliner Wednesday at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

United, Southwest and American Airlines have been affected by the grounding of the new Boeing model – AIWA! NO!

March 14 (UPI) — Boeing stands to lose billions over the fallout from the global grounding of its 737 Max 8 aircraft and airlines are reshuffling flights to accommodate concern for the new airliner’s safety.

After days of resisting, Boeing made a recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday to temporarily suspend flights of its 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft. Many others, including the European Union, Britain and Canada, had already grounded the plane and barred flights in their airspace.

The decision came three days after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 crashed and killed all 157 people aboard. The crash had many similarities to an accident involving another Max 8, flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air, in October.

“We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said.

RELATED Trump orders FAA to ground Boeing 737 Max 8, Max 9 planes

Boeing’s Max series aircraft replaced the 737-800 and made its first commercial flight in 2017. A high-density version of the Max 8, the Max 200, was set to enter service next month. It’s unclear whether the Ethiopian crash will affect its launch. The Max 9, with a longer fuselage, entered service last year. The new planes cost about $50 million each.

Wall Street firms Melius Research and Jefferies estimate the grounding could cost Boeing between $1 billion and $5 billion. The estimates are based on the planes being grounded for three months. Boeing reported a profit of $10.6 billion in 2018.

This isn’t the first time this decade Boeing has faced trouble with a new aircraft model. In 2013, it grounded the new 787 Dreamliner after lithium ion batteries caught fire on multiple flights. With only about 50 Dreamliners in service at the time, however, the impact was smaller.

RELATED All 157 aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight killed in crash

Wednesday’s decision sent U.S. carriers United, American and Southwest scrambling to replace Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft on their flight schedules. American and Southwest fly the Max 8 and United has Max 9s. American had been flying more than 80 Max 8 flights per day.

Southwest said it plans to operate its schedule with every available airplane in the fleet to meet the changes. The airline won’t charge passengers to change flights within 14 days of the original date of travel.

“We have been constant contact with the FAA and Boeing since Ethiopian Airlines’ accident,” Southwest said in a statement. “While we remain confident in the Max 8 after completing more than 88,000 flight hours accrued over 41,000 flights, we support the actions of the FAA and other regulatory agencies and governments across the globe that have asked for further review of the data — including information from the flight data recorder.”RELATED Dow Jones rebounds from Boeing losses, closes up 201 points

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the carrier is working to “minimize disruptions to our customers’ travel plans.”

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Boeing CEO faces biggest crisis yet as fatal crash grounds jets

Boeing CEO faces the biggest crisis yet as a second fatal crash in six months grounds jets

In this 2010 file photo, Dennis Muilenburg, then executive vice president of Boeing Co., and president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, speaks during a ceremony at MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois. Boeing on Tuesday said Muilenburg, now president and chief operating officer, will become its new CEO on July 1. He succeeds Jim McNerney, who is stepping away from the controls after 10 years. | TIM VIZER / BELLEVILLE NEWS-DEMOCRAT VIA AP, FILE
In this 2010 file photo, Dennis Muilenburg, CEO Boeing | TIM VIZER / BELLEVILLE NEWS-DEMOCRAT VIA AP, FILE

More Boeing 737 Max 8 Planes Grounded In Wake Of Ethiopia Crash – AIWA! NO!

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg faces his biggest crisis yet following the second deadly crash of a 737 Max airliner, prompting airlines to ground the best-selling narrow-body and threatening to end Boeing’s three-year stock rally.

China ordered its carriers to ground all 96 of Boeing’s newest 737 model, while Indonesia said it would also halt flights after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down in a field shortly after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

While the flight recorders still have to be analysed, the disaster bore similarities to the doomed Lion Air 737 Max that also crashed in October.

The 737 Max is Boeing’s most important aircraft type, generating almost one-third of the company’s operating profit and forming the backbone of many global airline fleets who use the model and Airbus’s competing A320 family on shorter routes.

Boeing 737 Max, Ethiopia
Boeing 737 Max, Ethiopia

Boeing sank 8.6 percent to US$386 in early US trading. That would mark the biggest drop since January 2016, and pose a threat to the rally under Muilenburg, who has overseen a tripling in the shares since taking over at the biggest US exporter.

“Boeing has lost control of the timetable to provide the safe, reliable solution,” said Neil Hansford, chairman of the Australian consultancy firm Strategic Aviation Solutions.

“The longer it goes, the more chance Boeing has of losing orders.”

The grounding in China, followed by the Indonesian air safety regulator’s order to halt 737 Max flights from Tuesday, raises the spectre of other countries following suit.

South Korea began a special inspection of the aircraft, while in Europe, regulators said they’re in contact with their US counterparts as well as Boeing, but that it’s too soon to take action.

Investigators have recovered the cockpit voice and flight-data recorders, Ethiopian Airlines said on Monday, a significant step forward in piecing together what happened.

Chinese airlines accounted for about 20 percent of 737 Max deliveries worldwide through January, and further purchases of the Chicago-based planemaker’s aircraft are said to have been touted as a possible component of a trade deal with the US.

Lion Air, which is based in Indonesia, is one of the biggest customers, having ordered 201 Max planes and taken delivery of 14. The disaster in Ethiopia followed the crash of Lion Air’s 737 Max off the coast of Indonesia on October 29. 

Lion Air, which is based in Indonesia, is one of the biggest customers, having ordered 201 Max planes and taken delivery of 14.

The single-aisle 737 Max is poised to generate about US$30 billion in annual revenue as factory output rises to a 57-jet monthly pace this year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.

The disaster in Ethiopia followed the crash of Lion Air’s 737 Max off the coast of Indonesia on October 29. A preliminary report into that flight indicated that pilots struggled to maintain control following an equipment malfunction.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing on a possible software change to reduce the chances that such a failure could cause an accident in the future.

Boeing responded to the earlier crash by advising pilots that the Max’s so-called angle-of-attack sensor can provide false readings, causing the plane’s computers to erroneously detect a mid-flight stall in airflow.

That in turn can cause the aircraft to abruptly dive to regain the speed the computer has calculated it needs to keep flying. Pilots could counteract the sudden downward tilt by following a checklist in their training manual, the plane-maker said.

“The B737 Max design is dangerously flawed,” said Mohan Ranganathan, a former commercial pilot and an aviation safety consultant based in the southern India city of Chennai.

“There is a definite similarity between Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines Max crashes.”

The doomed Ethiopian jetliner left Addis Ababa at 08:38 local time, and contact was lost six minutes later, the company said in a statement.

There were people from 35 nations on board, including 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians and eight Americans.

The United Nations, which is hosting an environmental conference this week in Nairobi, said it lost 19 staff members in the crash.

The pilot of the ET302 reported problems shortly after takeoff and was cleared to return to the airport, said the airline’s chief executive officer, Tewolde GebreMariam.

The 737 Max 8 hadn’t had any apparent mechanical issues on an earlier flight from Johannesburg, he said.

Ethiopian Airlines had five of the planes in operation as of the end of January and orders for a further 25, according to Boeing’s website.

Boeing has dispatched a technical team to assist the investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which was delivered new in November to Africa’s biggest carrier, while the FAA, which originally certified the 737 Max and US National Transportation Safety Board have also joined the probe.

Jet Airways India and SpiceJet, two Indian airlines that use the 737 Max jet, and the country’s regulators have asked Boeing for information following the Ethiopia crash.