Boeing Crash Fallout
More regulators and airlines turned against Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jet, with Australia, Singapore, and authorities in several countries in Latin America grounding the plane after Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The moves came despite the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority vouching for the safety of the plane as American authorities, Boeing and Ethiopian investigators probe the crash. The flurry of groundings by foreign regulators, which typically follow FAA safety determinations for American-built jets, has idled about 40% of the 737 MAX fleet around the world. Most of those are MAX 8s, the version involved in the Ethiopia crash.
Boeing has delivered more than 370 MAX planes to 47 customers, including leasing firms that place the jets with airlines around the world. American carriers, sticking by the FAA guidance, have said they have no plans to ground the flights.
Boeing is negotiating with the Federal Aviation Administration over improvements to its 737 Max 8 after the aircraft’s second crash in five months, though both the government and company insist the plane is safe to fly as is.
Since October, when a Max 8 belonging to the budget airline Lion Air crashed in Indonesia soon after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board, Boeing has been working on changes to the flight control systems of the aircraft. The company has also been updating its training guidelines and manuals so that airlines can teach their pilots to fly the planes more safely and easily.
Boeing issued a statement late Monday saying that since the Lion Air crash, the company had been developing a “flight control software enhancement for the 737 Max, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.” According to the company, it has been working with the F.A.A. to roll out the software updates across the 737 Max fleet in the coming weeks.