737 MAX Crisis, 777X Delays, CEO Resigns – 2019 Was Not Boeing’s Year

Boeing has had a rough year. As well as the fallout from the Boeing 737 MAX, the company has been dealing with delays to its 777X program, a CEO leaving and plenty more.

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft grounded and unable to be delivered. Photo: Getty Images

The 737 MAX disaster

Simple Flying has covered the Boeing 737 MAX disaster from the first accident right up to the latest developments. Last year, Boeing woke up to a world where one of its brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft had crashed in Indonesia killing all onboard. Following that event, and during the diagnosis of what went wrong, another aircraft crashed in Ethiopia under suspiciously similar conditions.

Following these events, the world grounded the Boeing 737 MAX, although Boeing and its friends in the FAA were reluctant to follow suit until the very last minute. Investigations revealed the aircraft itself was flawed (not pilot error) with a broken sensor affecting the MCAS system.

Since then, Boeing has failed to find a way to fix the flaw (and get it out to their airline partners) nor lift the grounding of the aircraft. 

Currently, there are 400 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft sitting in storage with nowhere to go.

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China has been hard hit with the 737 MAX grounding. Photo: Getty

The 737 Next Generation cracks

Boeing’s previous aircraft, the 737-800 Next Generation, has not escaped 2019 without some problems either. An airline discovered pickle fork cracks on the fuselage of one of these popular jets, which subsequently meant all aircraft over a certain number of flight hours had to undergo inspection for the fault.

This cost Boeing big in the financial and PR game, with already distrustful passengers and airlines now looking over their shoulders at the once proven aircraft.

Qantas found a few of its domestic Being 737-800 fleet had issues. Photo: Qantas News Room.

The 777X delays

The Boeing 777X, the latest version of the iconic Boeing 777 was delayed due to engine issues. Added to this, a pressurization test had ended in an explosive failure. Although the engine problems were not Boeing’s fault, and the failed test involved stresses beyond what an aircraft would experience in real life, it’s all more negative PR for the US planemaker.

This pushed back the plans for many airlines like Lufthansa and Emirates who then pulled orders for the type

Lufthansa Boeing 777X. Photo: Lufthansa

Boeing 787 issues

There have been a myriad of issues with the Boeing 787 program. These have spanned from problems with build quality to claims that oxygen masks might not work. There has also been evidence that perhaps the Boeing 787 is not very safe if struck by lightning, and of course, the range has been suffering engine issues with the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 (which to be fair, is not Boeing’s fault).

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Some issues with the Boeing 787 cropped up this year. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing has had to take time away from other tasks to deal with these issues, and it has seen their company performance suffer as a result.

The lack of aircraft orders

The cherry on the Boeing sour cake was their lack of orders this year. Whilst Airbus racked off order after order at the Paris Air Show, Dubai Air Show and other events, Boeing quietly marked off very few actual new orders this year.

737 MAX Crisis, 777X Delays, CEO Resigns – 2019 Was Not Boeing’s Year
Airbus vs Boeing order. Photo: Screenshot from Wikipedia.

In fact, looking at the raw numbers, the airframe builder actually lost more than it gained.

The Boeing CEO resigns

The last sore point for Boeing was its CEO resigning at the tail end of the year. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg was sent away by the Boeing board as the airline supplier moved into a new direction.

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Dennis Muilenburg has resigned from his position as CEO at Boeing. Photo: Getty Images

“Boeing’s Board felt that a leadership change was necessary as the aircraft manufacturer seeks to improve its standing.”

We haven’t covered everything either. Just before the Boeing CEO resigned, their spaceship program had an error that cost them dearly against competitors like Space X and confidence with NASA.

For all those that love Boeing, their aircraft and their hardworking team members, we join you in hoping that Boeing has great recovery in 2020 and gets back to doing what they do best; building next-generation aircraft.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.