Boeing have opened the first day of the Paris Air Show by apologizing for the two crashes involving their 737 MAX aircraft. As Airbus celebrate the launch of their latest model, the A321XLR, the mood in the Boeing camp is far more somber as they reflect on the 737 MAX disasters and how that will affect them going forward.
While plane makers usually use the global stage of the Paris Air Show to demonstrate their newest and best technology, Boeing are using it for something else. Still reeling from the two 737 MAX crashes that rocked the aviation world, the announcement of their anticipated NMA aircraft has been put on ice.
Added to this, the US manufacturer has had to divert so much attention to fixing the MAX that the timetable of their 777X has slipped. As such, they have no new aircraft to debut at the Air Show. Instead, they opened the show by saying ‘sorry’.
Very sorry for the loss of lives
At the first day of the Paris Air Show, Boeing executives used the global stage of the event to apologize for the incidents involving their MAX aircraft. ABC News reports Kevin McAllister, president and CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft, saying,
“We are very sorry for the loss of lives … It is a pivotal moment for all of us. It’s a time for us to make sure that accidents like this never happen again.”
McAllister also said they were sorry “for the disruption” to airlines and passengers which has come as the grounding of the type continues. He also commented that this was the ‘most trying of times’ for the manufacturer.
ITV report Greg Smith, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Performance and Strategy, saying,
“The tragedy of Lion Air and Ethiopian accidents certainly weighs on all of us and words simply cannot express the sorrow and the sympathy that we feel for the families and the loved ones of those that were lost in these tragic accidents. These accidents have only intensified our efforts to ensure the highest level of safety and quality in everything we do.”
Other Boeing executives also stressed the renewed focus on safety as a result of these incidents and highlighted their condolences to the families of the victims involved.
Learning from their mistakes
The plane maker has also reiterated that they are learning lessons from the two disasters, and that this is feeding into the development of the 777X. Stan Deal, the President and CEO of Boeing Global Services, is reported by Business Insider as saying,
“We have teams working very closely between 777x and the 737 Max to makes sure that any lessons learned, anything that we can identify that could be applied to the 777x will be applied,”
The 777X, designed to be the biggest and most efficient two engined jet in the world, is facing delay after delay, the latest coming as issues were found in the new GE9X engines. Boeing still maintain it will enter service next year, although the timeline hangs in the balance as the kinks are worked out.
Deal commented that Boeing are working very closely with General Electric to iron out the issues as quickly as possible. He says that Boeing are making the most of this time by ensuing they get it absolutely right for the first flight. He said that Boeing are contemplating every aspect of their operations since the 737 MAX crashes, and that this is all being done in relation to the 777X too.