When the biggest selling plane in a plane manufacturer’s catalogue crashes twice in a matter of 5 months, then questions are bound to be raised about the quality of the product. The Boeing 737 Max jet, belonging to Ethiopian Airlines that crashed yesterday after takeoff and killed everyone on board, was the 2nd time in 5 months that this particular airline crashed. The weather was clear, and the airline lost contact mere minutes after the takeoff, sparking concerns from many other airlines which use this aircraft. Back in October, the Boeing 737 Max 8, belonging to Lion Air, crashed in Jakarta and all 189 passengers on board were killed.
Although a clear explanation of the Ethiopian Airlines crash is yet to be made public, crash investigators have said that it is extremely rare to see two planes of the same range crashing twice in such close intervals. It will come as a big setback for Boeing that one of the first to act against the news was the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority, which stated that all Boeing 737 Max planes were going to be grounded until they have been cleared and deemed safe enough to fly.
If a widespread industry boycotts this plane, then Boeing could find itself in a very tough corner. It is the company’s highest selling plane, and since it launched back in May 2017, 350 of these planes have been supplied to airlines all across the world. However, what is even more worrying for Boeing is the real possibility of cancelled orders, and as per figures in January, the order book stands at 4660. If the planes are deemed to be too risk worthy by airlines, then it could be a massive blow for the company. The company’s commercial airline jets made up for 60% of their revenues last year.
However, amidst all the chaos, Boeing’s plane got some support from United Airlines, which is one of the plane manufacturer’s well-known clients. A spokesperson said, “We have made clear that the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is safe and that our pilots are properly trained to fly the MAX aircraft safely.” That being said, the problems for Boeing have only started, and it will take some time before confidence can be completely restored in the MAX aircraft. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), which is a powerful group and boasts of members from employees at 20 of the biggest airlines, has demanded the Federal Aviation Administration order an investigation into the plane. A spokesperson for the AFA said, “While it is important that we not draw conclusions without all of the facts, in the wake of a second accident, regulators, manufacturers and airlines must take steps to address concerns immediately.”