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June 14, 2024
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The Boeing mania is finally subsiding, albeit a few strange articles do show up in British tabloids.  Nonetheless, there are news stories worth reading.  Among them is the annual report of the Chief Aerospace Safety Officer at Boeing, which can be downloaded from the Boeing website at the link below (go to the end of the page.).  While Boeing is citing progress with an upturn in employee concerns about safety, the question is whether this reflects progress in changing Boeing’s culture, or a rash of concerns after the Alaska Airlines incident earlier this year.  

Either way, given this is the third annual report, this begs the question of how could the flight 1292 incident still occur after two years of safety improvements.  Clearly, the fact that bolts were missing wasn’t double-checked.  The FAA says there is still a long way to go, and while Boeing is making progress, it still lacks the comprehensiveness and cultural change that the regulator is seeking. Considering that it took 20 plus years from the McDonnell-Douglas merger for the culture to fall, it will likely take years to restore it to what it should be.  This is something that Boeing needs to accomplish quickly but also needs a long-term solution, which takes time.  It is a difficult situation.  

In other news, Boeing has picked Ethiopia as its African headquarters, near a key customer and arguably Africa’s leading airline.  Financial analysts at JP Morgan are lowering cash flow estimates and one analyst at Seeking Alpha is going against the grain calling the crisis overblown.  With every program in disarray and either underproducing or behind schedule, five different investigations, cash flow difficulties that are edging the company towards junk status, lame duck leadership and lack of a competitive product in the hottest market segment, we respectfully disagree that the crisis is overblown.

Finally, Boeing is a go for the Starliner despite a small helium leak in the capsule, and the troubled Osprey program participants are being sued by Marines killed in a recent crash.  The Osprey does not have a strong safety record, but volunteering for the military does entail risk, even in training.

Links to todays key stories follow:

  • Boeing’s 2024 Chief Aerospace Safety Officer Report – Boeing
  • Biman rejects Airbus offer; Boeing keeps trying – AirInsight
  • Boeing: why the crisis is overblown – Seeking Alpha
  • Ethiopia picked as Boeing’s Africa headquarters – APA news
  • JP Morgan analysts lower Boeing cash flow estimates – Investing
  • NASA, Boeing opt to fly leaky thruster as is for firist crewed Starliner CST-100 mission – the Register
  • Families of Marines killed in Osprey crash sue Boeing, Bell, Rolls-Royce – Claims Journal
author avatar
Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC

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