May 25, 2019
Latest News

Boeing halts 737 MAX deliveries after two fatal crashes

Bangkok Desk, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- Boeing Co. suffered dual setbacks Thursday when it paused deliveries of its 737 MAX jetliner and a U.S. Air Force official raised concerns about one of the company's biggest military-plane programs, Dow Jones Newswires reported in an article made available to EFE.

The aircraft manufacturer said it has suspended deliveries of its 737 MAX following the grounding of the aircraft by aviation regulators around the world after two fatal crashes within five months.

A spokesman for Boeing said it hadn't made any changes to its 737 production rate of 52 planes a month, but said the company continues "to work through production decisions."

Boeing, the world's top plane maker in terms of deliveries, will continue to build 737 MAX planes while assessing how capacity constraints could affect the company's production system amid the world-wide restrictions, according to the spokesman.

Shares in the company fell 1% Thursday to $373.30. The stock is off 12% from $422.54 on Friday, before the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX on Sunday. The incident in Ethiopia followed another fatal crash involving the same model plane, operated by Lion Air, in Indonesia in October.

The stock's decline has erased $27.8 billion from Boeing's market value since Friday.

Meanwhile, the black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 arrived in France early Thursday for analysis, a key step in a probe that could help determine how long the 737 MAX jet remains grounded around the world. The devices store key data, such as flight parameters and cockpit voice recordings, which investigators will unlock and read to help them determine the cause of the crash. The French agency has extensive experience investigating crashes.

Downloading the data is due to start Friday. Drawing early conclusions sometimes can take only a few hours, but it can take days or significantly longer if a device is damaged. One person familiar with the details said the cockpit-voice recorder is damaged. Detailed analysis typically can take months.

Data from the black boxes will be among the earliest and most important findings that regulators and airlines will consider in determining whether and when the jet should be allowed to fly again. President Trump said Thursday, "I hope it's going to be for a short period of time."

The new MAX model includes a stall-prevention system that has come under scrutiny since the Lion Air crash. Authorities have said preliminary data in the probe of the Ethiopian Airlines crash suggested potential similarities between the two accidents.

Boeing has said it believes the jet is safe, but said it eventually concurred with the decision by U.S. authorities to ground the jet out of an "abundance of caution," according to a written statement from Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday joined other regulators in grounding the 737 MAX.

Regarding the deliveries pause, a person familiar with the matter said constraints Boeing faces include places to park the aircraft once the jets are built at the company's factory in Renton, Wash.

The facility abuts a small airport, but parking is scarce so the planes must be flown to nearby King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field, before delivery to customers.

It wasn't immediately clear how many 737 MAX planes Boeing could store at the airfield. A spokesman for the airport's operator didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday about how much additional parking space Boeing had at the airfield. But the operator has said Boeing leases 106 acres there, mostly for its 737 program.

Despite the FAA's grounding order, the agency has indicated it would grant Boeing special permits to move the aircraft without passengers onboard.

Boeing is investigating alternatives should space at Boeing Field fill up, the person familiar with the matter said. It isn't clear when restrictions could be lifted, but analysts said they could remain in place for at least a matter of weeks.

The world-wide restrictions also dent Boeing's ability to generate cash. Customers pay a large chunk of their bill when they receive finished aircraft.

"It represents a clear logistical challenge," said Michel Merluzeau, director of aerospace- and defense-market analysis at AIR, a research firm in Seattle. "They have to continue to pump these planes out of the factory."

The delivery pause doesn't affect delivery of Boeing's older 737NG models. Boeing's Renton factory churns out 52 737s a month, and the company has planned to increase the rate to 57 this year. Boeing has been phasing out the 737NG as it shifts increasingly toward producing the MAX models.

Also Thursday, a senior Pentagon official indicated the U.S. Air Force has lost confidence in Boeing's ability to maintain quality control over a new aerial refueling tanker it is building.

Boeing delivered the first of the KC-46A Pegasus tankers in January, more than a year late, after a series of production and design problems left the aerospace company nursing $3.5 billion in losses on the initial $4.9 billion contract.

The Air Force then suspended deliveries in February after finding tools and other debris left in some jets, prompting a sharp rebuke from defense chiefs.

"Well, we are not happy with this at all," Will Roper, the Air Force's assistant secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, told reporters after a congressional hearing. "We do not want to be accepting tankers this way. Having teams sweep an aircraft five times is simply unacceptable."

Deliveries of the tankers resumed this week, after Boeing instituted fresh measures to check the aircraft, and the company now has handed over seven planes out of the existing 52-jet contract.

Mr. Roper said he is confident in the tanker's design and said he even flew in the model delivered this week.

A Boeing spokesman said the company was focused on safety and quality and had agreed on a plan with the Air Force to remedy the debris and quality issues. Mr. Roper said this week's efforts to search for the cause of the Boeing 737 MAX crashes had no impact on military contracts.

"The government is a fair broker," he said. "We're dealing with this issue as it is."

By Andrew Tangel and Ben Kesling

News history
Waiting in long lines to buy food is Cuba's current crisis and biggest joke

By Atahualpa Amerise

Mexico's plans for embattled energy sector spark criticism

Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Champions final to generate 123 million euros, 66 million will stay in Madrid

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa).- The UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid will...

Experts stress using digital tools to make Colombian companies more dynamic

Cali, Colombia, May 23 (efe-epa).- Increasing human beings' use of digital tools is the vehicle whereby Colombia's business sector will develop, several...

Trump pledges another $16 bn for farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs

Washington, May 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday approved a second aid package for US farmers, this one for $16 billion, with the aim of...

China, Brazil agree to boost trade, cooperation

Beijing, May 23 (efe-epa).- The vice presidents of China and Brazil presided here Thursday over the fifth gathering of the Sino-Brazilian High-Level...

ECB officials warned Eurozone economy may not rebound as expected

By Tom Fairless

Xi pushes for innovation so that China wins the new technological Cold War

By Jesus Centeno

FAA's acting chief won't predict when Boeing 737 MAX will return to flight

By Andy Pasztor

Deutsche Bank CEO signals more cuts to investment bank

By Jenny Strasburg

Israel blockades stem exports from Gaza

By Laura Fernández Palomo

Carlos Ghosn attends first preliminary hearing in Tokyo ahead of trial

Tokyo, May 23 (efe-epa).- The former head of Nissan and Renault on Thursday attended the first preliminary hearing ahead of his trial, as his defense team...

Massive seaweed influx in Cancun's hotel zone

Cancun, Mexico, May 22 (efe-epa).- The hotel zone along the beaches in the Mexican resort city of Cancun on Wednesday experienced a massive influx of...

Journalism in digital age must rethink how to reach its audience

By Gina Baldivieso

Geneva, May 22 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's health minister said here Wednesday that economic sanctions imposed by Washington are to blame for shortages of...

Bucking US sanctions, American Airlines expands flights to Cuba

Havana, May 22 (efe-epa).- American Airlines, the leading international carrier serving Cuba, said Wednesday that it intends to offer additional flights to...

The UK's British Steel begins insolvency proceedings

London, May 22 (efe-epa).- British Steel Ltd., the United Kingdom's second-largest steelmaker, has started insolvency proceedings after the country's High...

Rare earths emerge as China's possible trump card in trade war against US

Jesus Centeno

India's antitrust watchdog surveys e-commerce firms including Amazon, Walmart

New Delhi, May 22 (efe-epa).- India's antitrust watchdog is assessing the domestic e-commerce sector, a step that could have consequences for Amazon.com...

Internal review reveals sexual assault cases in New Zealand parliament

Sydney, Australia, May 22 (efe-epa).- The New Zealand parliament on Wednesday admitted that at least three cases of serious sexual assault had taken place...

UN forecasts global economy to grow 2.7 pct. in 2019, 2.9 pct. in 2020

United Nations, May 21 (efe-epa).- The United Nations on Tuesday downgraded its forecast for world economic growth, announcing that it expects overall...

Plastic waste being made into ecologically friendly houses in western Mexico

By Mariana Gonzalez

Dr. AI comes to aid of China’s ailing healthcare

By Paula Escalada Medrano

Italian airline Alitalia cancels more than 280 flights due to strike

Rome, May 21 (efe-epa).- Italian airline Alitalia has canceled more than 280 flights on Tuesday amid a national 24-hour strike called by air sector unions.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.