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May 20, 2024
Boeing HQ
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Today’s key stories about Boeing center on whistleblower testimony, with one claiming missing-bolt records other than what Boeing provided. While he claims to have shared them with the FBI, they appear to be the same documents Boeing previously offered from the Shipside Action Tracker, an informal system.  Nonetheless, Boeing violates the Federal Air Regulations by not documenting the maintenance activities on the aircraft.  The congressional testimony was confusing because there was testimony from two different committees, and it was covered in multiple stories, with the three whistleblowers repeating long-standing allegations that Boeing ignored safety concerns and production defects. The whistleblowers also said they would not put their families on Boeing jets.  Another story rightly indicates that Congressional testimony won’t make your Boeing flight safer.

A Seattle Times story indicates that Boeing employees remain fearful of raising safety concerns, according to experts hired by the FAA. Culture change remains a necessity for Boeing. United Air Lines reported that Boeing cost them $200 million from the MAX 9 grounding and are also changing their Boeing fleet strategy.

Another story indicates that Ryanair says Boeing is taking steps to accelerate deliveries. However, with the FAA holding up rate increase and Boeing’s limited production in the first quarter, that seems like a stretch to us.   We do not expect a massive upturn in production rates in the first half of 2024.

Links to the key stories follow:

  • Boeing critic says he shared missing-bolt records with FBI – Bloomberg
  • Boeing hid safety risks in ‘criminal cover-up,’ whistleblowers tell Senate – Seattle Times
  • Whistleblower ‘would not’ put family on Boeing jet – BBC
  • Boeing ignores safety concerns, production defects, whistleblower says – CBS News
  • United says it’s changing its Boeing fleet strategy due to safety delays – what to know – Travel & Leisure
  • Ryanair says Boeing taking steps to accelerate deliveries – BNN Bloomberg
  • Senate grandstanding on Boeing won’t make your flight safer – BNN Bloomberg
  • Southwest and Boeing: The Cost of Loyalty – AirInsight
  • Boeing workers still scared to raise safety concerns, say FAA appointed experts – Seattle Times

The Bottom Line

We also questioned who the worst managed company, Boeing or Southwest Airlines, was, which has been serially damaged by Boeing’s inability to build the MAX 7 and operate with a sub-optimal fleet. Loyalty to Boeing and flying only 737s doesn’t seem to generate reciprocal benefits these days. With more orders outstanding and a higher price tag, the MAX 10 has become more critical than the MAX 7 for Boeing, effectively screwing its best customer, Southwest.   Which player is worse, the one that couldn’t deliver or continued to believe, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, that they would deliver on their promises?

author avatar
Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC

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