Boeing CEO issues statement on status of 737 MAX
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued an official statement Monday, promising that his company is working to “fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX,” following a pair of crashes inside of the last five months.
“Our entire team is devoted to the quality and safety of the aircraft we design, produce and support,” Muilenburg said. “I’ve dedicated my entire career to Boeing, working shoulder to shoulder with our amazing people and customers for more than three decades, and I personally share their deep sense of commitment.”
A total of 189 people died in a Lion Air crash out of Indonesia on Oct. 29, 2018, when the plane nose-dived into the ocean. A total of 157 people died in a similar crash in Ethiopia. Like the Indonesian crash, the pilot of the plane in Ethiopia sent a distress call shortly after takeoff.
Muilenburg noted that “work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident,” and that the company is releasing a software update and “related pilot training” for the 737 MAX.
A recently-filed wrongful death lawsuit alleges that that an anti-stall system new to the 737 MAX was not mentioned in Boeing’s flight manual, and that it was concealed to “minimize the differences between the MAX and other versions of the 737 to boost sales.”
That anti-stall system led to the October Lion Air crash, forcing the nose of the plane down despite the best efforts of the pilot to reverse course. The Ethiopian Airlines crash is still being investigated, but early reports seem to imply a similar fate befell that flight as well.
“Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone,” Muilenburg’s statement continued.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order last Wednesday to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 airplanes in the United States, at the behest of Boeing itself.
In the wake of that grounding, Boeing has maintained “full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.”
Gov. Inslee’s timely statement on Boeing
In the midst of making the media rounds for his 2020 presidential campaign, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee had some choice words regarding Boeing Monday evening, specifically on a massive tax break given to the company by the state.
“If you’ve ever been mugged, you understand what that feels like,” Inslee said on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday evening.
Inslee also briefly commented on the investigation into the FAA’s approval process of the new Boeing 737 Max, which has come under scrutiny following two crashes. He said we have an administration we “can’t trust for anything.”
Muilenburg’s full statement
To airlines, passengers and the aviation community:
We know lives depend on the work we do, and our teams embrace that responsibility with a deep sense of commitment every day. Our purpose at Boeing is to bring family, friends and loved ones together with our commercial airplanes—safely. The tragic losses of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 affect us all, uniting people and nations in shared grief for all those in mourning. Our hearts are heavy, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board.
Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone. This overarching focus on safety spans and binds together our entire global aerospace industry and communities. We’re united with our airline customers, international regulators and government authorities in our efforts to support the most recent investigation, understand the facts of what happened and help prevent future tragedies. Based on facts from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident and emerging data as it becomes available from the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, we’re taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX. We also understand and regret the challenges for our customers and the flying public caused by the fleet’s grounding.
Work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident and understand the information from the airplane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Our team is on-site with investigators to support the investigation and provide technical expertise. The Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau will determine when and how it’s appropriate to release additional details.
Boeing has been in the business of aviation safety for more than 100 years, and we’ll continue providing the best products, training and support to our global airline customers and pilots. This is an ongoing and relentless commitment to make safe airplanes even safer. Soon we’ll release a software update and related pilot training for the 737 MAX that will address concerns discovered in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 accident. We’ve been working in full cooperation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board on all issues relating to both the Lion Air and the Ethiopian Airlines accidents since the Lion Air accident occurred in October last year.
Our entire team is devoted to the quality and safety of the aircraft we design, produce and support. I’ve dedicated my entire career to Boeing, working shoulder to shoulder with our amazing people and customers for more than three decades, and I personally share their deep sense of commitment. Recently, I spent time with our team members at our 737 production facility in Renton, Wash., and once again saw firsthand the pride our people feel in their work and the pain we’re all experiencing in light of these tragedies. The importance of our work demands the utmost integrity and excellence—that’s what I see in our team, and we’ll never rest in pursuit of it.
Our mission is to connect people and nations, protect freedom, explore our world and the vastness of space, and inspire the next generation of aerospace dreamers and doers—and we’ll fulfill that mission only by upholding and living our values. That’s what safety means to us. Together, we’ll keep working to earn and keep the trust people have placed in Boeing.