miércoles, mayo 22

Loss of confidence in Boeing accelerates

Confidence in Boeing is plummeting. According to the Morning Consult barometer, the balance of Americans having confidence in the brand fell from 32 to 20 points between December 2023 and January; that of passengers frequently using its planes fell from 41 to 28 points. After the emergency exit door of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 detached in flight on Friday January 5, the aircraft manufacturer is in dire straits. The voice once again caught in turmoil, unable to fly its planes safely, after the disaster of the 737 MAX 8 of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, which left 346 victims in 2018 and 2019. And Wednesday January 24, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US civil aviation regulator, said that a front wheel of a Boeing 757, operated by Delta Air Lines, came loose while the plane was lining up for take off from Atlanta International Airport the weekend of January 20-21.

Even the stock market is finally coming to terms with the facts: something is broken at Boeing, which has lost 18% of its value since the start of the year.

The regulatory authority ordered the immobilization for inspection of 737 MAX aircraft with these door closures, mainly at United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. She strongly addressed the company, which had already mentioned it to the authorities during the certification of the 737 MAX 8. “This incident should never have happened and it cannot happen again”, declares the FAA in a press release. On Sunday, January 21, it extended door inspection requirements for the 737-900 ER, which preceded the MAX 9. Since its inaugural flight in 2006, the FAA said the 737-900 ER had recorded more than eleven million hours of operation and completed 3.9 million flights, without any problems related to door closing.

Read also | Boeing 737 MAX 9: American civil aviation regulator opens investigation into Boeing

His mistakes made over a quarter of a century

The affair led to the trial of the company and all its errors committed over a quarter of a century: its inability to see the rise of Airbus and its A320s, which were going to compete with the Boeing 737s; the merger with the military aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas and the takeover of Boeing by its managers, more accustomed to political frolicking in Washington to obtain subsidies than to working industrially on the quality of aircraft; an obsession with profitability, leading after a major strike in Seattle, the historic cradle of the aircraft manufacturer, in 2000, to relocate the headquarters to Chicago; move part of the production to South Carolina and subcontract the construction of the fuselage to a former Kansas factory, Spirit AeroSystems.

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