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Ethiopia Joins China in Grounding Boeing 737 Max Jets After Crash
* Shares fall sharply as China, Indonesia ground 737 Max flights
* Ethiopian Airlines disaster killed all 157 people on board

Bloomberg News
March 11, 2019, 6:28 AM GMT+7 Updated on March 11, 2019, 5:20 PM GMT+7

Pressure on Boeing Co. escalated after China and Indonesia decided to ground flights of the U.S. planemaker’s newest 737 jet in response to the second deadly crash of the best-selling narrow-body in five months.

Boeing shares fell sharply in early U.S. trading, a day after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed and killed all 157 people on board. Africa’s biggest carrier also decided not to use its 737 Max 8 planes until further notice. China ordered its carriers to ground all 96 of the aircraft, while Indonesia’s air safety regulator said it will halt flights involving the Boeing planes starting Tuesday.

For Boeing, the latest disaster soon drew comparisons to a Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people, pushing the Chicago-based planemaker a step closer to a crisis. A blanket grounding of the 737 Max, which generates almost one-third of the company’s operating profit, in China also raised the specter of other countries following suit. While Indonesia’s air safety regulator also ordered local airlines keep the 737 on the ground, South Korea began a special inspection of the aircraft.

“The B737 Max design is dangerously flawed,” said Mohan Ranganathan, a former commercial pilot and an aviation safety consultant based in the southern India city of Chennai. "There is a definite similarity between Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines Max crashes."

In Europe, regulators said they’re in contact with their U.S. counterparts as well as Boeing, but that it’s too soon to take action.

Shares of Boeing sank 9.6 percent to $382.11 in early U.S. trading. Safran SA, which makes engines for the Max in the CFM International venture with General Electric Co., was down 1.8 percent as of 11:15 a.m. in Paris.

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Boeing shareholders sue over 737 MAX crashes, disclosures

Jonathan Stempel
APRIL 10, 2019 / 6:56 AM / UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO

(Reuters) - Boeing Co’s legal troubles grew on Tuesday as a new lawsuit accused the company of defrauding shareholders by concealing safety deficiencies in its 737 MAX planes before two fatal crashes led to their worldwide grounding.

The proposed class action filed in Chicago federal court seeks damages for alleged securities fraud violations, after Boeing’s market value tumbled by $34 billion within two weeks of the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX.

Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg and Chief Financial Officer Gregory Smith were also named as defendants.

Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers had no immediate comment.

According to the complaint, Boeing “effectively put profitability and growth ahead of airplane safety and honesty” by rushing the 737 MAX to market to compete with Airbus SE, while leaving out “extra” or “optional” features designed to prevent the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

It also said Boeing’s statements about its growth prospects and the 737 MAX were undermined by its alleged conflict of interest from retaining broad authority from federal regulators to assess the plane’s safety.

Richard Seeks, the lead plaintiff, said Boeing’s compromises began to emerge after the Ethiopian Airlines crash killed all 157 onboard, five months after the Lion Air crash killed 189.

Seeks said he bought 300 Boeing shares in early March, and sold them at a loss within the last two weeks. The lawsuit seeks damages for Boeing stock investors from Jan. 8 to March 21.

Shareholders often file lawsuits accusing companies of securities fraud for concealing material negative information that causes the stock price to decline upon becoming public.

Chicago-based Boeing faces many other lawsuits over the crashes, including by victims’ families and by participants in its employee retirement plans.

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Boeing spacecraft astronauts see new frontier for commercial space

Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston; editing by Bill Tarrant and Tom Brown
AUGUST 22, 2019 / 5:11 PM

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A crew of veteran U.S. astronauts and aviators are training in Houston for a manned mission to the International Space Station aboard Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft, which could also be used to take tourists into space on future missions.

The Boeing Starliner mission was originally scheduled for this month, but that has been delayed to at least the end of the year or into 2020 due to technical issues and amid a shakeup in the top echelons of the space agency.

Boeing (BA.N) and rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX are competing with each other to become the first private company to resume human space flight from U.S. soil after the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

The companies, with cutting-edge technology, are among those poised to benefit most from the enormous growth opportunities many see in the world’s burgeoning commercial space industry.

NASA has been relying for years on Russian rockets and spacecraft to transport personnel to the space station. The $100 billion science and engineering laboratory, orbiting 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, has been permanently staffed by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts since November 2000.

NASA is paying SpaceX and Boeing nearly $7 billion combined to build rocket-and-capsule launch systems for ferrying astronauts to the space station.

Reuters was given rare access at Houston’s Johnson Space Center to NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Mike Fincke, and Boeing astronaut and test pilot Christopher Ferguson, who will crew the ISS mission, along with other astronauts training for future missions.

The exercises included training underwater to simulate space walks, responding to emergencies aboard the space station, and practicing docking maneuvers on a flight simulator.

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Qantas, Southwest stepping up checks for cracks in 737 NG aircraft after issues found

Jamie Freed, Tracy Rucinski
OCTOBER 30, 2019 / 3:16 PM

SYDNEY/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) and Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) are stepping up checks for structural cracks on Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 NGs after discovering problems with planes that did not require urgent inspections, airline sources said.

The cracks are on what is known as the “pickle fork” - a part that attaches the plane’s fuselage, or body, to the wing structure.

Repairing the cracks requires grounding the airplane, with remedial work costing an estimated $275,000 per aircraft, according to aviation consultancy IBA.

Boeing on Oct. 11 said 38 planes worldwide had been grounded after urgent checks but has not provided a further update. The issue surfaced while the newer 737 MAX model is grounded globally following two deadly crashes.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Oct. 2 mandated checks of 737 NGs with more than 30,000 take-off and landing cycles within seven days.

It said jets with 22,600 to 29,999 cycles must be inspected within 1,000 cycles, which typically correspond to the number of flights.

Qantas discovered cracks in a plane with about 26,700 cycles that was undergoing heavy maintenance, while Southwest found cracks in one with about 28,500 cycles, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

A Qantas spokesman said the airline had found cracking in one jet with just under 27,000 cycles that had been removed from service for repair.

He said that no Qantas jets had yet reached 30,000 cycles, but that the airline would inspect 33 planes with more than 22,600 cycles by the end of this week.

A Southwest spokesman said he could not confirm the number of cycles of the three jets the airline has pulled from service for pickle fork repairs. He said the company has complied with the FAA directive on inspections but was expanding checks to its entire 737 NG fleet.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Boeing said all 737 NGs with more than 30,000 flight cycles and about one-third of planes with over 22,600 flight cycles had been inspected for pickle fork cracks.

The manufacturer said additional assessments were underway to determine the cause and potential implications for planes with fewer than 22,600 cycles.

“Depending on the results of these assessments, additional inspections or repairs may be required,” Boeing said.

It said that so far the repair costs were not big enough to affect its bottom line. But the company added that it could not estimate potential future financial impacts because since the inspections were ongoing.

A Boeing spokesman on Wednesday said he could not provide a further update.

American Airlines and United Airlines, whose 737 NG fleets have less than 30,000 cycles, are also inspecting their entire fleets but have not found any pickle fork issues so far, representatives for both airlines said.

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Sales of grounded Boeing 737 MAX gather pace at Dubai Airshow

Ankit Ajmera, Alexander Cornwell
NOVEMBER 19, 2019 / 1:19 PM

DUBAI (Reuters) - Boeing’s 737 MAX took center stage at the Dubai Airshow on Tuesday as airlines announced plans to order up to 50 of the jets worth $6 billion at list prices despite a global grounding in place since March.

Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana said it had signed a letter of intent to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets for its Fly Arystana subsidiary.

Air Astana, which operates Airbus and Embraer jets in its main network, said it was confident in Boeing’s ability to resolve problems with the MAX.

Global regulators banned commercial flights of Boeing’s fastest-selling jet in March after two fatal accidents.

Plans for the jet’s return to commercial service have been pushed back to early 2020 as Boeing finalizes software and training revisions that need regulatory approval.

“We are making flying affordable for the people of Kazakhstan,” Air Astana Chief Planning Officer Alma Aliguzhinova told reporters, adding that budget carrier Fly Arystana would start taking the jets in late 2021.

The airline plans to hold 15 aircraft directly and may finance the rest through a lease transaction, she said, adding that Air Astana would not change the composition of its main fleet.

Separately, another airline signed a firm order for 10 Boeing 737 MAX 7 and 10 Boeing MAX 10 jets, a person familiar with the matter said. The airline’s name was not disclosed.

Boeing has used the past two major industry events to try to secure market momentum for the grounded MAX, which is seen as key to the planemaker’s financial health over the coming decade.

A letter of intent between Boeing and British Airways owner IAG for 200 jets, which grabbed the spotlight at the Paris Airshow in June, has yet to be finalised as the European holding company discusses the fleet change with subsidiaries that currently use Airbus for medium-haul operations.

In other business coinciding with the largest Middle East air show on Tuesday, Saudi budget airline Flynas agreed to buy long-range A321XLR jets.

The airline’s chief executive had said on Monday that Flynas was in talks to exercise purchasing options for some or all of 40 Airbus A320neo narrowboday jets.

Airbus unveiled a provisional order in Dubai for 8 of its small A220 jets from Air Senegal. Britain’s easyJet exercised options for 12 more Airbus A320neo aircraft.

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Boeing's 737 crisis deepens as production stops for first time in two decades

Eric M. Johnson, David Shepardson
DECEMBER 16, 2019 / 8:21 PM

SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Monday it would suspend production of its best-selling 737 MAX jetliner in January, its biggest assembly-line halt in more than 20 years, as fallout from two fatal crashes of the now-grounded aircraft drags into 2020.

Boeing, which builds the 737 south of Seattle, said it would not lay off any of the roughly 12,000 employees there during the production freeze, though the move could have repercussions across its global supply chain and the U.S. economy.

The decision at a two-day board meeting came after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) refused to approve the jet’s return to service before 2020 and delivered what was seen as a public rebuff to Boeing’s hopes of moving faster.

The 737 MAX has been grounded since March after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people within five months, costing the plane manufacturer more than $9 billion so far.

The decision to halt production will have little immediate impact on airlines that have already seen deliveries halted, forcing many to cancel flights or lease older replacements.

But it marks a deepening of a crisis that has already seen Boeing’s fastest-selling jet grounded worldwide, its safety record scrutinized, customers pressing for compensation and its cornerstone relationship with the FAA placed under strain.

It also threatens to hit U.S. economy, with House representative Rick Larsen calling Boeing’s decision “a body blow to its workers and the region’s economy.”

“The only saving grace is the Boeing leadership has promised not to lay off any workers. I am ready to work with Boeing workers to ensure ... they will have access to the necessary resources in the event of a prolonged shutdown.”

Until now Boeing has continued to produce 737 MAX jets at a rate of 42 per month and purchase parts from suppliers at a rate of up to 52 units per month, even though deliveries are frozen until regulators approve the aircraft to fly commercially again.

Boeing did not say how long the shutdown might last, stressing this was up to the FAA. Previous efforts to predict when the 737 MAX might return to service after software training changes had drawn a sharp response from the U.S. regulator.

The FAA said it would not comment on what it described as a Boeing business decision but would continue to work with global regulators to review proposed changes to the 737 MAX.

“Our first priority is safety, and we have set no timeframe for when the work will be completed,” the agency said.

Analysts said the shutdown was inevitable after Boeing was forced to abandon its end-year goal for returning to service.

“It is not a surprise that they don’t continue producing planes that don’t have a home,” said Adam Pilarski, senior vice president at Virginia-based consultancy AVITAS.

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[b]Malaysia Airlines suspends Boeing 737 MAX deliveries due to jet's grounding

Liz Lee, Jamie Freed
JANUARY 15, 2020 / 9:41 AM

KUALA LUMPUR/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Malaysia Airlines said on Wednesday it had suspended deliveries of 25 Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 MAX jets, citing the plane’s delayed return to service since it was grounded last year following two fatal crashes.

The decision represents another setback for Boeing, which on Tuesday reported its worst annual net orders in decades, along with its lowest number of plane deliveries in 11 years, as the grounding of the 737 MAX saw it fall far behind main competitor Airbus SE (AIR.PA).

“In view of the production stoppage and the delayed return to service of the 737-MAX, Malaysia Airlines has suspended the delivery of its orders,” the airline said in an email, without saying when it wanted the deliveries to resume.

“As there is no clarity yet from various authorities on its return to service, our technical due diligence is still ongoing,” Malaysia Airlines said.

The airline said it had previously planned to have five 737 MAX jets delivered this year, the first in July. Last year, its chief executive had said it was possible the craft’s introduction to service could slide beyond July.

Boeing said it was sorry for the disruption the 737 MAX situation had caused Malaysia Airlines.

“We are working to support them and all of our customers in every way possible to ensure complete confidence in the 737 MAX and a safe return to commercial flight,” Boeing said in a statement.

The Malaysian government has been seeking a buyer for the debt-heavy airline, which is still recovering from two tragedies in 2014, when flight MH370 disappeared in what remains a mystery and flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Analysts said cash-strapped carriers like Malaysia Airlines that over-ordered planes could take advantage of the 737 MAX grounding to negotiate with Boeing to restructure their orders.

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Boeing employees' emails bemoan culture of 'arrogance'

"This is a joke," an employee wrote in September 2016, in a reference to the MAX. "This airplane is ridiculous."

"I want to stress the importance of holding firm that there will not be any type of simulator training required," one Boeing employee messaged a colleague on March 28, 2017, a few months before the MAX received federal certification.
The message went on: "Boeing will not allow that to happen. We'll go face-to-face with any regulator who tries to make that a requirement."

"Would you put your family on a MAX simulator-trained aircraft? I wouldn't," said a message sent in February 2018, eight months before the first crash.
"No," a colleague agreed.
Tech: Can Boeing get its mojo back?
(05-02-2020, 07:19 PM)Behappyalways Wrote: [ -> ]Tech: Can Boeing get its mojo back?

In recent years, however, instead of putting more money into R&D and building better, safer and cheaper aircraft that speedily get us to our destination, Boeing’s management has been obsessed with maximising shareholder returns and getting its stock price airborne. It systematically de-emphasised aerospace engineering and focused more on financial engineering, buying back US$46 billion of its own shares, or more than three times what it spent on R&D, while steadily increasing dividend payouts, and cutting back on things like pilot training or plane safety, things that helped it become an aviation behemoth.

The above probably says it all. Boeing's current debacle reminds me of what happened to BP during their Deepwater Horizon rig blow up (they also had 1 of the "best margins" of the industry before everything just blew up). If we take parallels from what happened at BP, Boeing will probably be alright. In anyways, to save face, there is no way that the US will allow themselves to buy from a European firm forever~.