Boeing Continues To Be A Hot Mess

There seems to be no end in sight to the woes that plague Boeing.

It was four weeks ago that a hole blew open on a 737 Max 9 jetliner during an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after takeoff when what appears to have been a poorly attached panel tore away. That event followed two deadly crashes involving 737 Max 8 planes five years ago.

Now, the Federal Aviation Administration is indefinitely halting Boeing’s plans to raise production of Max planes. And a case the company settled with the federal government for $2.5 billion to avoid prosecution could be reopened if the Justice Department determines Boeing did not comply with the terms of the deal.

“Passengers have filed class-action lawsuits against the company,” according toThe New York Times. “And some infuriated airline executives are taking the rare step of criticizing Boeing publicly and expressing doubt about its ability to deliver planes when they were expected.”



The head of Emirates Airline warned Boeing it was in the “last chance saloon” as he prepared to send his own engineers to oversee the plane maker’s production lines after witnessing a long decline in its manufacturing performance, according to theFinancial Times

Just today, Boeing announced plans to rework dozens of 737 Max jets after misdrilled holes were discovered on some fuselages, marking the latest production problem for the aircraft, according toThe Washington Post

In a memo to employees, a Boeing executive said the misdrilled holes do not pose any immediate safety issues and will not affect jets in operation. But the company believes it will have to “rework” about 50 undelivered airplanes.

It’s a no-brainer that it would be better to delay plane delivery than to have another incident like what happened four weeks ago.

“As far as signs of trouble in a company go, a hole blowing through the wall of one of its airplanes at 16,000 feet is not subtle,” according toThe New York Times in a separate story about what the company should do to fix its problems. “Boeing’s issues span decades, and some aviation and management experts have long suggested they go deeper than processes, pointing instead to a shift in the company’s culture that put finances ahead of engineering. Fixing that may require more drastic measures.”

To his credit, Boeing CEO David Calhoun has not shirked responsibility for the incident, even while the exact cause is still being investigated, according to CNN Business

“We caused the problem, and we understand that,” Calhoun told investors. “Whatever conclusions are reached, Boeing is accountable for what happened. Whatever the specific cause of the accident might turn out to be, an event like this simply must not happen on an airplane that leaves one of our factories. We simply must be better.”

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