On April 11, Boeing announced that it had created a software fix designed to prevent a repeat of the tragic crashes of two 737 MAX 8 planes over the past six months. The aerospace giant conducted 96 test flights using this updated software — including one with the CEO on board — to ensure that the plane is no longer susceptible to the same anti-stalling issues that caused the crashes. However, they still have a long road to finding their way into the skies with the 737-MAX as American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Continental have extended their grounding of flights into the summer season.
Airlines have had to use larger planes in many cases to continue providing service, giving forwarders and shippers a capacity bump that has lead to an upswing in cargo bookings and a slight reduction in prices. Airlines that don’t use the 737-MAX, one of which is Delta, are expecting a growth bump of up to 3% due to having a full fleet staffed.
4/5/2019: Boeing announced they’d slow down production of the 737-MAX after the entire fleet was grounded after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed last month. This decision was made after a preliminary report on the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy showed that the pilots did perform all of the aircraft manufacturer’s procedures, but were unable to regain control the jet and crashed. Further investigations revealed the cause of both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes was a fault of the anti-stall program installed which pushed the plane into a dive due to erroneous angles of attack sensor readings. Boeing’s plane came under scrutiny following two crashes in the span of about five months involving Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines that killed 346 people total.
-Dennis Muilenburg, CEO, Boeing
“The history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events. This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents.”
Boeing is working to develop a software fix that will get the 371 grounded 737 Max jets back in the air. The expected return date is still unconfirmed but is expected to be at least until May if not June. Updates will be done on this post as new information is available.