It’s amazing that he lasted this long.
Boeing’s 737MAX design was rushed and the system was designed to fail. Corners were cut in order to get the plane to market and remain competitive with Airbus without actually spending big bucks to make an all-new 737 replacement aircraft. And people paid with their lives. Worst of all, Boeing knew about problems with the MCAS software and still sold the plane without even telling pilots about MCAS
CEO’s have fallen on their sword for a lot less than that, but the response to the crisis has been just as troubling. Boeing has been pressuring the FAA to re-certify the 737MAX before they were comfortable doing so. Punting on their responsibility as a regulator is exactly why the FAA lost their credibility in the first place.
The FAA head fired back to his employees, not to give into Boeing. That was a really bad look for Boeing.
In his words,
“In this process, the only driving force is safety, and the FAA fully controls the approval process…I know there’s a lot of pressure to return this aircraft to service quickly. But I want you to know that I want you to take the time you need and focus solely on safety. I’ve got your back.”
It’s great to see that Boeing is finally going in another direction.
“I’d be shocked if Boeing isn’t able resolve their 737MAX issues in 2020, but I wonder what this sordid saga has done to their long-term prospects.
The Airbus A350 is selling like hotcakes and they can’t make enough A320neos. Rather than wait for a Boeing 797, airlines are buying planes like the Airbus A321XLR. Rather than gambling on the 777-8X, Qantas will use the A350-1000 to fly ultra long-haul routes like Sydney to JFK and London. Boeing may never even build that plane variant now.
Boeing is certainly wounded. Whether they can recover and start innovating once again is the real question, as Airbus is running away with the show.”
A new CEO should go a long way to restoring Boeing back where it belongs. But with Airbus planes being more comfortable, reliable, and versatile than Boeing’s these days, that will be no small challenge. Years of under-investment (the 737 is now 52 years old and Boeing still has not put forward viable replacements for aging 757 and 767 aircraft) and lack of innovation are going to hurt Boeing for a long time to come.
HT: Leon F