Boeing in deep crisis after European ban of 737 Max-8
On Tuesday evening, the European Agency for Safety in the Air (EASA) has decided to suspend all flights of the Boeing 737 Max-8 and its successor, the Boeing 737 Max-9, in Europe. The decision was taken after two similar crashes in a few months. The first plane crashed in front of the Indonesian coast line, the second last weekend in Ethiopia both only minutes after taking off.
A heavy blow to the American aircraft constructor that is threatened to see almost 27 billion dollar ending up in smoke. Boeing’s share lost 6,2% on Tuesday. Monday it even lost 13%, the worst figures since the attacks of 9/11.
Suspending of all EU flights
Tuesday afternoon, the Belgian Federal Minister for Mobility, François Bellot (MR) announced the suspension of all flights with the Boeing 737 Max-8 in the Belgian airspace after several other European countries had taken the same measure. “We will call in other companies to bring passengers back to Brussels”, promised TUI’s spokesman, Piet Demeyere.
Belgian airline company TUI had to reroute two flights with a Boeing 737 Max-8, coming from Egypt and Gambia. Those flights were rerouted to Bologna (Italy) and Alicante (Spain) because of the flight restriction to Zaventem.
The American Federal Aviation Administration, the agency that certified the planes in the first place, has decided the Boeing 737 Max-8 can keep on flying in the United States for the time being. American Airlines is still confident too. However, in political circles there are votes for keeping those planes on the ground as well.
In the meantime, Boeing has promised some ‘significant’ changes of the cockpit software of the 737 Max-8 series. Some experts suspect there could be a software flaw with one of the new systems introduced in this model to level the airplane.
The general European ban of Boeing’s showpiece is a commercial nightmare for the company. The 737 Max-8 is the best-selling plane in the history of the American aircraft constructor. Since its commercial launch about 350 planes were sold. Airline companies have ordered another 5.000 of them. Boeing even increased production to 57 units per month.
Bad track record
The two crashes are saddling Boeing with a very bad track record and the company is under great pressure to come with explanations about the crash. According to the European EASA the investigation about the crash in Ethiopia is still running and it’s too early to come to conclusions. Investigations like these can take weeks or even months.