Boeing: Chief in an ejection seat after Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 scares?

Aircraft manufacturer boss Boeingwhich reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, has been on the relegation seat since the incident in early January. 737 MAX 9 Alaska Airlines, but it doesn’t appear to be in an ejector seat at this time. “We do not have the impression that changes at the management level are imminent, but these things are very difficult to predict”, Third Bridge analyst Christopher Raite told AFP. Especially since what happened on January 5th “It’s not clear yet”. On that day, a The cockpit canopy of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 came loose in flight. In the process, the American Aviation Regulatory Agency (FAA) ground devices of the same configuration, 171 of the 218 Boeing 737 MAX 9 delivered to date.

Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have the vast majority, having reconfigured 65 and 79 aircraft, respectively. The regulator presented on Wednesday a “wide” maintenance and inspection program to enable return to service. It was Alaska Airlines that reopened the air ballet with a Seattle-San Diego flight on Friday evening. The January 5 flight, which was launched in November, “He had three pressure problems before the incident”recalls Mr. Raite, emphasizing that Alaska Airlines “I knew he had a problem but he kept flying” avoiding excess water “carefully”.


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Boeing is in “crisis mode.”

“It’s not all Boeing’s fault”, he thinks. Jeff Guzzetti, an aviation safety consultant who has worked for the FAA and the NTSB investigative agency, hopes so “Management to Change” from Boeing “They will have to show a change.”he explained to AFP. “At this point, Boeing knows what went wrong and so does the FAA.”and the builder “He may announce changes Wednesday (at his factory) in Renton and with Spirit AeroSystems”its subcontractor.
Nicolas Owens, an analyst at Morningstar, does not foresee a change in leadership in the near term, because “Boeing is in ‘crisis mode'”.

And, like Christopher Raitt, he doesn’t believe a change at the top will solve Boeing’s problems, which has been suffering from several months of poor production performance. After the January 5 incident, the group appointed an independent expert review its quality control and supplier oversight. He also launched a series of training sessions for his production staff on Thursday. Dave Calhoun, Boeing’s chief, and Stan Deal, head of its commercial aviation arm, don’t appear to be driven to exit at the moment.


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“We are truly sorry for the huge disruption and frustration to our customers”, Mr. Deal said in a message to employees Friday evening. Mr. Calhoun took control of the group in 2019, succeeding Dennis Muilenburg, following two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX 8 that claimed 346 lives. Democratic Senator Mark Warner stated a few days ago that he had confidence in Mr. Calhoun, and emphasized. “a different approach to transparency”. “Boeing of the past, which hid the truth after the MAX disaster (both accidents, Editor’s note)” it no longer exists, he declared. “That must be made clear The leaders of that time left the group». Mr. Calhoun can theoretically stay until 2028, as the retirement age was raised to 70 in April 2021. The group appointed Stephanie Pope to the newly created position of chief operating officer in December, ultimately placing her in good stead.


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Expansion is blocked

In addition to strengthening oversight of the manufacturer, the FAA informed it that it is no longer authorized to expand production of the 737 MAX family, its flagship aircraft. A heavy blow for Boeing, which has set ambitious financial targets for 2025, counting on increasing its production to achieve it. Aim for a monthly fee fifty 737 by 2025/20262023 compared to 31 at the beginning. “Our experts expect an announcement of a production slowdown on Wednesday”explains Mr. Raite.

“The reasonable solution would be for Boeing maintains the current pace until the end of this year”he continues, wanting the team to concentrate as well “about the quality of its employees”. “According to our experts, there are 20% fewer quality inspectors than in 2017-2018”, he says. For Marie Cantwell, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Mr. Calhoun spoke behind closed doors on January 24, American passengers and Boeing workers “it deserves a corporate culture (…) that puts safety before profits.

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