Category Archives: Boeing

Boeing statement on employee messages provided to U.S. Congress and FAA

Boeing has issued this statement in light of the release of internal company emails regarding the 737 MAX:

In December, Boeing proactively brought these communications to the FAA’s attention in furtherance of the company’s commitment to transparency with our regulator and strong safety oversight of our industry. We also provided copies to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in recognition of their oversight functions. These documents have been released publicly at the encouragement of Chairman DeFazio and Chairman Wicker.

Some of these communications relate to the development and qualification of Boeings MAX simulators in 2017 and 2018. These communications contain provocative language, and, in certain instances, raise questions about Boeing’s interactions with the FAA in connection with the simulator qualification process.

Having carefully reviewed the issue, we are confident that all of Boeing’s MAX simulators are functioning effectively. The qualification activities referenced in these communications occurred early in the service life of these simulators. Since that time, both internal and external subject matter experts have repeatedly tested and qualified the simulators at issue. Indeed, more than twenty regulatory qualifications of MAX simulators, performed by the FAA and multiple international regulators, have been conducted since early 2017. The specific Miami simulator that was used for the early qualification tests has been re-evaluated six times during this time period. The simulator software has been constantly improving during this time, through repeated cycles of testing, qualification, and revision of the software code.

These communications do not reflect the company we are and need to be, and they are completely unacceptable. That said, we remain confident in the regulatory process for qualifying these simulators.

In the context of providing these communications to the FAA, and having carefully considered the FAA’s perspective on these matters, we also decided to provide additional documents that were identified in the course of legal reviews of the 737 MAX program. We provided these documents to the FAA and Congress as a reflection of our commitment to transparency and cooperation with the authorities responsible for regulating and overseeing our industry. We welcome, and will fully support, any additional review the FAA believes is appropriate in connection with any of these matters, as well as the continued involvement of the relevant congressional committees with these issues.

We regret the content of these communications, and apologize to the FAA, Congress, our airline customers, and to the flying public for them. We have made significant changes as a company to enhance our safety processes, organizations, and culture. The language used in these communications, and some of the sentiments they express, are inconsistent with Boeing values, and the company is taking appropriate action in response. This will ultimately include disciplinary or other personnel action, once the necessary reviews are completed.

Read the comments.

Boeing is recommending 737 MAX simulator training

Boeing has made this announcement:

Boeing is recommending 737 MAX simulator training in addition to computer based training for all MAX pilots prior to return to service of the 737 MAX. This recommendation takes into account our unstinting commitment to the safe return of service as well as changes to the airplane and test results. Final determination will be established by the regulators.

Dennis A. Muilenburg resigns as CEO of Boeing

Boeing is announcing a shake-up of its top management:

Boeing announced today that its Board of Directors has named current Chairman, David L. Calhoun, as Chief Executive Officer and President, effective January 13, 2020. Mr. Calhoun will remain a member of the Board. In addition, Board member Lawrence W. Kellner will become non-executive Chairman of the Board effective immediately.

The Company also announced that Dennis A. Muilenburg has resigned from his positions as Chief Executive Officer and Board director effective immediately. Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the brief transition period, while Mr. Calhoun exits his non-Boeing commitments.

The Board of Directors decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the Company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.

Under the Company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture,” Mr. Kellner said.  He added, “Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront. The Board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”

Mr. Calhoun said, “I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 MAX. I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation.”

Boeing suspends 737 MAX production starting in January

Boeing has made this announcement:

Safely returning the 737 MAX to service is our top priority. We know that the process of approving the 737 MAX’s return to service, and of determining appropriate training requirements, must be extraordinarily thorough and robust, to ensure that our regulators, customers, and the flying public have confidence in the 737 MAX updates. As we have previously said, the FAA and global regulatory authorities determine the timeline for certification and return to service. We remain fully committed to supporting this process. It is our duty to ensure that every requirement is fulfilled, and every question from our regulators answered.

Throughout the grounding of the 737 MAX, Boeing has continued to build new airplanes and there are now approximately 400 airplanes in storage. We have previously stated that we would continually evaluate our production plans should the MAX grounding continue longer than we expected. As a result of this ongoing evaluation, we have decided to prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft and temporarily suspend production on the 737 program beginning next month.

We believe this decision is least disruptive to maintaining long-term production system and supply chain health. This decision is driven by a number of factors, including the extension of certification into 2020, the uncertainty about the timing and conditions of return to service and global training approvals, and the importance of ensuring that we can prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft. We will continue to assess our progress towards return to service milestones and make determinations about resuming production and deliveries accordingly.

During this time, it is our plan that affected employees will continue 737-related work, or be temporarily assigned to other teams in Puget Sound. As we have throughout the 737 MAX grounding, we will keep our customers, employees, and supply chain top of mind as we continue to assess appropriate actions. This will include efforts to sustain the gains in production system and supply chain quality and health made over the last many months.

We will provide financial information regarding the production suspension in connection with our 4Q19 earnings release in late January.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Reuters: Boeing board meets as company considers 737 MAX production changes

From Reuters:

“Boeing Co is considering whether to cut or halt production of its grounded 737 MAX after the Federal Aviation Administration said last week it would not approve the plane’s return to service before 2020, a person briefed on the matter said on Sunday.”

Read the full story.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Boeing unveils the new 737-10 MAX 10

Boeing marked a key milestone as thousands of employees gathered for the debut of the first 737 MAX 10 at the company’s Renton, Washington factory on Friday. During a ceremony, Boeing leaders highlighted the team’s accomplishments and recognized their efforts in completing production of the newest member of the 737 MAX family.

The 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of the MAX family, can seat up to 230 passengers and offers the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle airplane ever produced. The airplane will now undergo system checks and engine runs prior to first flight next year.

“I’m honored to take this airplane on its first flight and show the world what you’ve put your heart and soul into,” 737 Chief Pilot Jennifer Henderson told the employee crowd.

The 737 MAX 10 currently has more than 550 orders and commitments from more than 20 customers around the globe.

Photo: Boeing.

Boeing, Republic of Ghana sign memorandum of understanding for three 787-9 Dreamliner jets

Boeing and the Republic of Ghana announced today that the country intends to re-launch an airline starting with the 787-9 Dreamliner. The parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Dubai Air Show for three airplanes with a list price value of $877.5 million according to list prices.

The new national carrier, to be based in Accra, would establish the capital city as a strategic hub that serves cities across West Africa. Future routes would include destinations in Europe, North America and Asia and the long-term plan is to open the airline to private investment and operation.

Since entering service in 2011, the 787 family has enabled the opening of more than 250 new point-to-point routes and saved 45 billion pounds of fuel. Every day, there are more than 1,600 commercial flights on a 787 Dreamliner. This means that somewhere in the world a 787 Dreamliner takes off every minute. To date, more than 400 million passengers have flown on the airplane.