A Boeing 737 MAX Name Change Would Be Silly

On Monday, one of the largest Boeing 737 MAX customers suggested that the manufacturer should rename the aircraft. However, Boeing’s new CEO David Calhoun has said changing the name will be silly.

Boeing, 737 MAX, Court Case
David Calhoun believes that renaming the 737 MAX would be silly. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing’s new CEO, David Calhoun, has been left with a huge undertaking. He has joined the company right in the midst of the Boeing 737 MAX crisis. While commenting on the MAX, he has suggested that renaming the aircraft would be silly. Calhoun is quoted by USA Today as having said,

“My instinct is a change with a new name would be sort of silly.”

This comes as others have suggested renaming the aircraft. However, while I previously made the argument to rename the aircraft, Calhoun’s comments do make sense. Here’s why:

Restoring trust

One of the most important tasks for Boeing, bar getting the MAX flying again, is restoring trust in the aircraft. This trust must be restored in pilots, operators, as well as the travelling public. Part of this will include being 100% transparent about what is happening with the program.

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Calhoun needs to get the MAX production restarted. Photo: Getty Images

If Boeing were to rename the 737 MAX, it could erode trust in the aircraft even further. Renaming the Boeing 737 MAX could, in the worst case, be seen as an effort to deceive passengers who may end up flying on the aircraft.

Calhoun seems to realise that, rather than deceiving, Boeing should be taking an entirely different stance. Instead of hiding away what has happened with the aircraft, it should face up to it. Even as far as to say “this is what’s wrong, here’s how we fixed it”. By holding up their hands and admitting that a mistake was made with the MAX, it shows that Boeing isn’t trying to hide the two tragedies.

What’s next for the Boeing 737 MAX?

According to Al Jazeera, Calhoun has no plans to scrap the Boeing 737 MAX program. In fact, he expects the production program to resume before the aircraft re-enters service. This is currently envisioned for mid-2020.

Ryanair, Boeing 737 MAX, October
Ryanair may not receive its first 737 MAX until October. Photo: Getty Images

The ramp-up will need to take place slowly, as there will still be limited space for completed aircraft to be stored. Additionally, the company will need to get back into the flow of things. However, airlines will surely be glad to see the 737 MAX’s return to service. Airlines such as Ryanair have been forced to scale back expansion plans.

Calhoun believes that the key to restoring trust in the 737 MAX lies with the pilots. Talking to USA Today, he said,

“It will fly safely and I am confident in that. When pilots get on those airplanes and support those airplanes, I believe passengers will follow.”

Should Boeing rename the 737 MAX, or leave things as they stand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!