Boeing Admits Mistakes With 737-9

Boeing's CEO has admitted they made mistakes with the 737-9 following an incident that saw a door blow out and subsequent groundings.

The CEO of Boeing has spoken out following what transpired recently involving its 737-9, from the incident to the subsequent grounding.

In the statement, several key points were highlighted with a personalised touch to conclude it. Such a statement has received mixed responses from the public.

Boeing CEO Speaks Out

Addressing the incident aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9, the current Boeing CEO, Dave Calhoun, says it can never happen again.

Additionally and more noticeably, he acknowledges that the plane maker has made a significant mistake. Calhoun says their priority is transparency and ensuring the safety of those who will board the 737-9 in the future.

As a result, the company will work with the NTSB, who lead the investigation following the incident, to determine better what occurred.

Boeing highlighted its long-standing relationship with the NTSB and knows their investigative qualities will shine through. As a result, Boeing also trusts the judgement of the NTSB in evaluating what happened.

The plane maker also highlighted that it’s the role of the Federal Aviation Administration to deal with customers worldwide who are currently being impacted by the grounding.

Boeing says they want to ensure that upon re-entry, they can confirm that this issue won’t happen again. In an ideal world, this incident wouldn’t have happened.

Calhoun concluded the statement by mentioning that he has kids and grandkids, and seeing the imagery that followed the incident makes him think about what could’ve been. As a result, he said that every detail matters when considering the long-term future of the plane and how the investigation moves ahead.

Loose Bolts Found On More Aircraft

Alaska Airlines has reported that its technicians have found some loose hardware that has been visible on some of its Boeing 737-9s.

Specifics around the number of units identified to have loose hardware following initial inspections have not been publicly disclosed.

For Alaska Airlines, they say that while they await final documentation from the FAA and Boeing to begin formal inspections, they have been glossing over the aircraft.

As a result of these initial inspections done by technicians, loose hardware was found in what is being described as another bad look for Boeing and associated suppliers that have already been in the spotlight over the past week.

Alaska Airlines, however, wasn’t the only airline to have recorded something similar. United Airlines, only hours earlier, would go on to confirm reporting by The Air Current that it had come across loose bolts and general installation issues on Boeing 737-9s.

For example, the carrier says some installation issues are related to bolts that need additional tightening. Since the incident, the tightening of bolts has been a critical focus topic and refers to quality assurance concerns.

Based on the findings by United, it’ll remedy these with the Tech Ops team taking the lead as the efforts to return the aircraft safely to service continue.

Boeing In The Spotlight

Despite comments from the Boeing CEO, the American plane maker has come under a significant amount of fire as the 737 MAX re-enters the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Boeing has recently battled with quality assurance difficulties, amongst other problems, which the new management at the company has wanted to weed out.

However, while the investigation has not concluded, the focus has already been placed on quality assurance alongside production practises at Boeing as further loose bolts are found on newly delivered aircraft.

Shares in Boeing continue to fall, while significant customers of the Boeing 737-9 United and Alaska Airlines continue to cancel flights at times to 18% of its daily schedule due to the groundings.

No timeline has been provided on when the 737-9 will return to service; this contradicts what customers believed would occur. When the planes were grounded, these customers thought the type would re-enter service within days, but that won’t happen now.

Looking Ahead For Boeing

The future seems like a long time away for Boeing; what was initially earmarked as a crucial year for their business to essentially not make headlines as it would primarily be for the wrong reasons has capitulated less than a week in.

While the nature of the incident differs from that in 2019, the plane maker will once more have an uphill battle restoring its stance within the general public’s view alongside the trust of customers and close onlookers.

Despite significant effort being placed on the 737-9s re-entry to service, two aircraft types within the MAX family remain uncertified. Question marks will begin emerging over whether these will be delayed, hurting the program and its customers.

Daniel Fowkes
10 Jan 2024
· Aircraft 

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