There is no denying that 2019 was a remarkably disappointing year for Boeing. The struggling aviation company was considered a “very disappointing company,” by President Trump in Jauary.
Trump spoke to CNBC’s Joe Kernen in January about Boeing’s new timeline for its 737 Max planes getting off the ground. Trump said, “This is one of the greatest companies of the world, let’s say, as of a year ago and all of a sudden things happened.”
The world’s largest aerospace company recently said that it doesn’t expect its planes to be ready to fly by ths summer, the busiest season for airlines. At the time Boeing said, “This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process. It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process. It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 Max’s flight control system and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board process which determines pilot training requirements.”
The company also said, “Returning the MAX safely to service is our number one priority, and we are confident that will happen. We acknowledge and regret the continued difficulties that the grounding of the 737 MAX has presented to our customers, our regulators, our suppliers, and the flying public. We will provide additional information about our efforts to safely return the 737 MAX to service in connection with our quarterly financial disclosures next week.”
According to sources familiar with the situation, airplane manufacturer Boeing will now be expanding the inspections on its Max 737 planes. CNBC has reported that teams have been finding foreign object debris inside the fuel tanks of the company’s brand new 737 Max planes.
Fiirst reported by Dow Jones, sources told CNBC that the expanded inspections are on the heels of the teams finding the debris in about two-thirds of the planes they had checked. Boeing’s 737 Max planes has been grounded by regulators around the world since March of 2019, when two crashes fatally killed 346 people.
“We are taking steps to make sure we eliminate FOD from any and all aircraft. This is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated on any Boeing aircraft when it’s delivered to the customer,” said the company.
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun addressed the issue with the NBC affiliate in Seattle and said,“It’s basic discipline. It’s nothing more, nothing less than production discipline. It’s every employee, every associate looking after their work, their area every moment in time, to make sure the FOD never arises again.” Boeing intends for the 737 Max to return to service by the middle of this year.
Boeing saw zero orders in January for new aircraft. “It is significant,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at Teal Group. He had three reasons for why Boeing struggled in January. “One is the market is glutted, two: what market there is, is moving to the mid-sized, which means A321neos and lots of them, and on top of that of course, you’ve got a terrible wide-body market, which is where Boeing is strongest.”