This week there have been several more developments in the saga of the MAX. As radio disk jockeys would say, “the hits just keep on coming.” The congressional hearings were harsh for both Boeing and the FAA, albeit the whistleblower on Boeing’s production line was unrelated to the MAX crashes. The hearing revealed that the FAA predicted 15 crashes for the MAX if MCAS wasn’t fixed just after the Lion Air crash but before the Ethiopian crash, which isn’t helping as international confidence in the Boeing-FAA relationship was already under question. Today, an MIT professor says that was low.
The FAA administrator has chastised Boeing and its CEO, and Boeing’s estimated schedule for recertification has been pushed back, with the FAA continuing to state that there is no timetable. This in turn has raised concerns about continued aircraft production in Renton as the grounding is extended through February 2020 at the earliest. And the on top of all this, Qantas picks the A350 over the 777X for its ultra long-haul operation project sunrise. And news reports are now questioning whether Boeing can recover in 2020. Finally, compounding the problem, a survey by Bank of America indicates only 20% of travelers feel the MAX is safe to fly.
The only positive news is that Southwest and Boeing reached an agreement on compensation.
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