Boeing 737 Max crashes: victim families fight agreement between Boeing and the US government Boeing with a loss of billions – the 777X wide-body jet will not be delivered until 2025 The most important news in the Boeing ticker.
Here you will find regular news about the large US aircraft manufacturer, from production problems, the process for the re-licensing of the Boeing 737 Max to the current development of Boeing shares.
June 17: Ryanair boss O’Leary attacks Boeing management
Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair has sharply criticized its main supplier Boeing. “Boeing needs a management fresh start,” Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary said in a TV interview with CNBC on Monday. One is very disappointed about the past twelve months with late deliveries.
In addition, nothing more was heard from the Americans about the long version Boeing 737-Max-10, for which negotiations were broken off in September last year. Various versions of the Boeing 737 are the standard jet for the Irish, which according to Boeing are the largest customer in Europe. For the summer, of the 505 jets in their fleet, only 29 at the subsidiary Lauda come from the competitor Airbus. Ryanair has ordered 210 of the slightly modified 737 Max.
May 4: Boeing 737 Max crashes: Victim families challenge Boeing-US government agreement
Families of victims of the two Boeing 737 Max crashes have filed for a court to overturn a multi-billion dollar agreement between the plane manufacturer and the US government. “We feel that the rights of the victims’ families have not been respected,” said French woman Catherine Berthet, who lost her daughter in a crash.
Boeing and the government made a deal in 2021 “that makes the crime appear as fraud and not involuntary manslaughter,” Berthet said. “We have not been consulted. We ask to be heard”.
A total of 346 people died in the crashes of Lion Air in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019. Other machines of the type were then not allowed to fly for months until the cause was found – as it later turned out, the lack of training for the pilots with a flight assistance system had led to the crash.
In January 2021, Boeing signed an agreement with the US Department of Justice in which the aircraft manufacturer admitted that its own employees had misled the US Federal Aviation Administration when preparing training documents. The $2.5 billion agreement provided for a $500 million compensation fund for victims’ families, along with $1.77 billion in compensation to airlines and a fine of around $240 million.
After the court hearing in Fort Worth, Texas, victims’ attorney Paul Cassell said the judge “was concerned about how the Justice Department and Boeing kept this agreement a secret from the families.” The families hoped for a speedy court decision.
At the time of the crash, Catherine Berthet’s daughter Camille was on her way to Kenya to start a humanitarian mission for a development organization there. Since Camille’s death three years ago, she “never falls asleep before four or five in the morning,” Berthet told AFP. “I still have panic attacks”.” You can no longer listen to certain films or music.
Another victim advocate, Paul Njoroge, lost his wife, three children, ages six and four and nine months, and his mother-in-law in the crash in Ethiopia. He said: “I wish the US Department of Justice was responsible enough to make sure that companies don’t get away with murder, that their top executives have to pay, that they have criminal cases against them, that they have years in prison.”
April 28: Boeing with a loss in the billions – the 777X wide-body jet will not be delivered until 2025
deeply into the red in the first quarter. The bottom line was a loss of over 1.2 billion dollars (a good 1.1 billion euros) after a minus of 561 million a year earlier, as the rival of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced on Wednesday in Chicago. Sales fell eight percent to almost $14 billion.
In addition, Boeing is postponing the delivery of its modernized 777X wide-body jet again: Due to problems with certification, the first example of the long version 777-9 will not be delivered until 2025. Just over a year ago, Boeing postponed the premiere until 2023 and therefore posted a burden of billions. The renewed delay will lead to additional costs totaling $1.5 billion from the second quarter, it said. Lufthansa is one of the launch customers and was originally scheduled to receive the Boeing777X in 2020.
The first quarter was characterized by new challenges, said CEO Dave Calhoun. Boeing had to shoulder heavy burdens in view of the Ukraine war. In addition, the Airbus rival continues to groan under problems with the long-haul jet 787 “Dreamliner” and difficulties with the new US presidential plane Air Force One. Nevertheless, experts had expected a significantly lower loss. The stock fell more than 3 percent premarket.
Calhoun emphasized that Boeing is making progress on the crisis-ridden “Dreamliner” jet. The problem aircraft has not been able to be delivered as planned for months due to persistent manufacturing defects, which has already led to production cutbacks and expensive compensation payments to customers. According to CEO Calhoun, Boeing has now submitted a plan to fix the problems to the FAA. However, he gave no indication of when deliveries might resume.
March 25: Former Boeing 737 Max chief test pilot acquitted
The former chief test pilot of the Boeing 737 Max has been acquitted in a trial over his role in approving the breakdown plane. US prosecutors accused him in court in Texas of having given authorities false and incomplete information about the assistance system, which played a central role in two plane crashes. As a result, airlines and their pilots were not informed about how the software worked, according to the indictment. The jury acquitted pilot Mark Forkner on Thursday night on the fourth day of the trial, according to court documents.
The system, called MCAS, was intended to help pilots of the 737 Max keep the plane in the correct position. It became necessary because the plane is a modified version of the 737 from the 1960s. The Max got larger engines – and this allowed the nose of the plane to go up in some cases. The software should then counteract and correct slightly. But as it turned out, MCAS was able to intervene in other situations and steer the machine down – and more than originally announced. Pilots were not prepared for the two crashes in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia in 2019.
346 people died in the accidents. The 737 Max had been grounded for 20 months during the investigation. The crisis cost Boeing billions. Investigations against the group itself were settled at the end of President Donald Trump’s term in office with a $2.5 billion settlement.
February 9: “Dreamliner” problems slow Boeing down further
The US aviation giant Boeing continues to groan under problems with the important long-haul jet 787 “Dreamliner”. According to its own statements, Boeing delivered only 32 aircraft in January – the lowest figure in three months. The Airbus rival has long suffered from the fact that the 787 cannot be handed over to customers due to various production defects. Boeing is still waiting for the green light from US air traffic control.
Special charges due to the model – such as compensation payments due to delayed deliveries to airlines – already made Boeing a loss of 4.2 billion dollars in the final quarter. Of the 32 Boeing jets deployed in January, the majority were the 737 Max medium-haul aircraft, which was grounded for over a year and a half after two devastating crashes. Boeing booked orders for 77 jets in January, 55 of them 737 Max.
February 3: Three years after the crash: Ethiopian Airlines resumes Boeing 737 Max service
Three years after the Boeing 737 Max crash that killed 157 people, Ethiopian airline Ethiopian Airlines has resumed operations of the aircraft type. The first Boeing 737 Max flight took place on Tuesday with members of the press and lasted about four hours. The place of departure and destination was the airport in the capital Addis Ababa.
In 2018 and 2019, two identical 737 Max 8 machines crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing a total of 346 people. As a result, the 737 Max was grounded for 20 months during the investigation. The crisis cost Boeing billions.
January 28, 2022: “Dreamliner” problems pull Boeing deep into the red
The corona crisis and problems with the long-haul jet 787 “Dreamliner” have caused the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing 2021 to lose another billion. At 4.3 billion US dollars (3.8 billion euros), the minus was almost two thirds lower than a year earlier. Although sales increased by seven percent to $ 62.3 billion after the first year of Corona, the company performed significantly worse than analysts had expected.
The third financial year in a row with deep red numbers shows how deep Boeing is still in the crisis. The debacle surrounding the medium-haul jet 737 Max, which was grounded after two crashes, was followed by the corona pandemic, which was heavily burdening the aviation industry. Boeing boss Dave Calhoun called 2021 a “year of recovery” given the many problems. But there are still big construction sites.
The “Dreamliner” in particular had a negative impact recently. The model cannot be delivered due to various defects, Boeing has been waiting for the green light from US air traffic control for months. But the schedule remains uncertain and it is becoming increasingly expensive for Boeing. Enormous special charges – such as compensation payments for delayed deliveries to airlines – tore the balance sheet into the red in the final quarter at 4.2 billion dollars. Boeing’s revenues also fell by three percent to 14.8 billion dollars at the end of the year.
November 15: Boeing promises compensation to survivors of crash in Ethiopia
More than two and a half years after the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX in Ethiopia, the US aircraft manufacturer has promised compensation to the bereaved. According to court documents on Wednesday, Boeing has accepted responsibility for the accident in an agreement with the families of the victims. Boeing pledged to provide all families with “full and fair compensation for their loss.” The exact sum for each family is to be determined in further negotiations.
The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on March 10, 2019 shortly after takeoff in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board perished. The victims came from 35 countries, including five Germans.
Following the crash, Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded worldwide. A few months earlier, in October 2018, a Boeing of the same type crashed off the Indonesian island of Java, killing all 189 occupants. The flight ban, which plunged Boeing into a deep crisis, was only gradually lifted from the end of 2020.
September 29: Problems with the “Dreamliner” cause Boeing to report a quarterly loss
Persistent problems with the “Dreamliner” long-haul jets are costing US aircraft manufacturer Boeing dearly. The necessary rework and the reduced production are likely to add up to around one billion US dollars (862 million euros), said the Airbus rival on Wednesday in Chicago. This is one of the reasons why Boeing slipped back into the red in the third quarter: the bottom line was a loss of 132 million dollars after a minus of 466 million a year earlier. In the second quarter, Boeing made a profit for the first time since 2019. On average, analysts had expected numbers to be in the black this time too.
In the third quarter, the “Dreamliner” problems had a negative impact of $183 million. According to the information, Boeing is continuing to talk to the US aviation authority FAA to clarify the conditions for resuming deliveries. The manufacturer currently only builds two machines of this type per month. As soon as deliveries are possible again, production should increase again to five machines. Production of the 737 Max medium-haul jet remains at a low level of 19 machines per month following the lifting of flight bans. In early 2022, it should continue to climb to 31 copies.
September 17: Former Boeing pilot faces 737 Max crash charges
According to a newspaper report, a former test pilot for the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing is threatened with charges in connection with two Boeing 737 Max crashes have, reports the “Wall Street Journal”.
The 737 Max was certified in March 2017. Forkner was the direct contact between the aircraft manufacturer and the FAA. According to documents released in early 2020, he had boasted about being able to fool his FAA colleagues to obtain certification for the MCAS stabilization system specially developed for the Boeing 737 Max.
In October 2018 and March 2019, two machines of the type crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing a total of 346 people. In both cases, the MCAS had transmitted incorrect data. In March 2019, a worldwide flight ban was imposed on Boeing’s former bestseller, which was only lifted at the end of 2020 after an overhaul of the system.
The US Department of Justice did not initially confirm the pending lawsuit against Forkner. The lawyer for the former Boeing pilot also did not respond to a request from the AFP news agency. The Wall Street Journal report did not specify in which court the former pilot should be charged. Boeing had admitted its responsibility for the crashes earlier this year and accepted a billion-dollar fine to avert criminal proceedings.
The company agreed to pay $2.5 billion in fines and damages. Last week, a US judge allowed another lawsuit against the company. Shareholders are suing Boeing’s board of directors for ignoring warnings about the MCAS safety system after the first crash.
September 6: Boeing 787 delivery halt will last until the end of October
Although production for the controversial Boeing 737 Max has started again, the “Dreamliner”, the Boeing 787, is developing into another problem. The long-haul jet is subject to a delivery stop to the airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had identified inadequate internal oversight processes at the aircraft manufacturer.
As early as April, the aviation authority said that the decompression panels of certain “part numbers could tear or become detached.” Now more inspections and repairs have to be carried out on brand-new aircraft, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, will last well into October.
One of the next customers is Lufthansa, which expects to add the first Dreamliners to its fleet in December. The production shortages of the 787 model, which is important for the group, continue to burden the balance sheet due to the delayed deliveries.
July 28: Boeing continues to lose commercial aircraft
The armaments business saves Boeing: After six quarters of losses in a row, the aircraft manufacturer has surprisingly returned to the black. The bottom line for the months of April to June was a profit of 567 million dollars (480 million euros), as the US rival of the European Airbus group announced on Wednesday in Chicago.
A year earlier, Boeing had recorded a deficit of 2.4 billion dollars due to the Corona crisis and the flight bans for the 737 Max medium-haul jet that were still in force worldwide at the time. Experts had expected a loss this time too.
Sales also increased significantly. At just under $17 billion, it was 44 percent higher than a year earlier. In the commercial aircraft business, Boeing continued to be in the red, although the division’s operating loss decreased. Meanwhile, the armaments and space division was able to increase its operating profit significantly.
June 25: First Boeing 737 Max for Tuifly landed in Hanover
After the European take-off clearance in winter, the first examples of the former Boeing crisis jet 737 Max are now also arriving in Germany. At the beginning of this week, the Tui company Tuifly received a machine from the USA at its headquarters in Hanover-Langenhagen. First, the machine remains in the hangar. There is therefore first training for the staff and some technical adjustments and updates before the 737 Max goes into regular operation. Specific departure airports or destinations have not yet been determined.
At the end of January, the largest travel provider was relieved that the aircraft type had been re-registered by the EU aviation security authority EASA. “All the prerequisites for a safe and successful resumption of operations are in place”. However, Tuifly took its time with the planning, partly because of the market weakness in air traffic, which was even more pronounced at the time due to the Corona crisis. The foreign Tui airlines should also receive machines and implement pilot training.
After two crashes in March 2019 that killed more than 300 people, the 737 Max was grounded worldwide. Investigations revealed that errors in the control software were responsible for the accidents. The airline brands of the Tui Group, which are mainly used as feeders for their own offers such as package tours or cruises, have had 15 examples of the machine in the active fleet so far. Against the background of the restructuring and austerity course in the company, this number could now decrease. The group had initially ordered more than 70 machines of the type by 2023 – then an agreement was reached with Boeing to purchase less than half. In addition, the delivery period was extended and Tui received compensation.
May 14: Electrical problems: US regulator approves upgrades to Boeing 737 Max
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has received the green light from the US Federal Aviation Administration to repair problem 737 Max aircraft. With the approved improvements, the way is clear for a return to air traffic, the US group announced in Seattle. Due to a problem with the electrical system, the affected aircraft could not take off recently. According to earlier information from the FAA, 106 machines were affected, 71 of which are registered in the USA. Deliveries have also recently stalled as a result.
The Airbus competitor had warned customers of a potential defect and advised them to suspend the operation of the aircraft until possible defects in the power supply system can be ruled out. US airlines then pulled dozens of machines out of service. This step was voluntary, the FAA was not banned from taking off. Boeing later acknowledged that the problem was more widespread than thought, affecting components in multiple areas of the cockpit.
In addition to the jets in flight, hundreds of 737 Max that Boeing has built since 2019 and have not yet handed over to customers need repairs. After two crashes with a total of 346 deaths, the model series was banned from flying for around 20 months and was only approved again in the USA in November. The cause of the accident was defective control software. The current problems are not related to this, Boeing had assured.
April 29: New electrical problems: US Federal Aviation Administration orders Boeing 737 Max repairs
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered repairs to a number of Boeing 737 Max aircraft that are currently unable to take off due to an electrical problem. On Wednesday (local time) in Washington, the authority published specific instructions on how to remedy the deficiencies. According to the FAA, 106 machines are affected, 71 of which are registered in the USA. The repairs should require a maximum of 24 hours of work per aircraft, the supervisor estimated.
Boeing had warned customers about a potential defect around three weeks ago and advised them to suspend the operation of the aircraft until possible defects in the power supply system can be ruled out. US airlines then pulled dozens of machines out of service. This step was voluntary, the FAA was not banned from taking off. Boeing later acknowledged that the problem was more widespread than thought, affecting components in multiple areas of the cockpit.
The now published FAA directive to ensure the airworthiness of the 737 Max at least seems to confirm the assumption already made by Boeing that the elimination of defects will not cause excessive effort. The regulator puts the cost of repairing the 71 aircraft registered in the United States at around $155,000. Boeing boss Dave Calhoun had previously stated that no more than a few days of work should be necessary per machine.
In addition to the jets in flight, however, hundreds of 737 Max that Boeing has built since 2019 and have not yet handed over to customers still need repairs. After two crashes with a total of 346 deaths, the model series was banned from flying for around 20 months and was only approved again in the USA in November.
April 21: US Department to investigate Boeing 737 Max reinstatement
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to examine the re-licensing of Boeing’s unfortunate 737 Max aircraft again by the Department of Transportation. “We will review the actions of the FAA,” announced the office of Inspector General Eric J. Soskin on Tuesday (local time) in Washington. It is about evaluating the processes and the approach of the supervisory authority.
The 737 Max – Boeing’s best-selling aircraft model – was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. After repairs to a control system believed to be the main cause of the accidents, the machine was again approved for operation by the FAA in November 2020. Due to new problems with the electrical system, a number of the jets are currently unable to take off again.
The Department of Transportation had already announced in February that there were still weaknesses in the approval process at the FAA, despite reforms after the debacle with Boeing’s breakdown plane. A lot of work is still needed to restore trust in the supervisory processes – and to ensure the highest level of security in certification, according to an investigation report at the time.
The report listed a total of 14 criticisms that the FAA should improve. It was about greater independence – so it must be made clearer in the future if Boeing employees themselves carry out FAA tasks. The FAA agreed to all objections and vowed to get better.
April 9: Boeing warns of new problem with crisis jet 737 Max
US aviation giant Boeing has alerted airlines to a production issue with certain versions of the 737 Max crisis model. According to its own statements on Friday, the Airbus rival recommended 16 customers to suspend the operation of the machines until possible defects in the power supply system can be ruled out. Boeing works closely with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The 737 Max is Boeing’s best-selling model and a major revenue generator. After two crashes with 346 fatalities, the series was banned from flying for around 20 months and was only approved for operation in the USA again in November. The cause of the accident was defective control software. The current issue is unrelated, a Boeing spokeswoman said.
March 17: Again quality problems: Boeing has to check cockpit windows of the 787
The series of breakdowns at Boeing does not stop: the latest problem in the production of the Boeing 787 – also known as the Dreamliner – is the cockpit window. As the news agency “Bloomberg” reports, the cockpit windows of brand-new jets have to be checked.
A supplier had previously changed the production process and apparently did not inform Boeing about it. Dreamliners that have not yet been handed over to customers are affected. The aircraft manufacturer stopped deliveries of new Boeing 787s last year because further checks on other components were necessary. In addition, the decompression panels between the passenger cabin and cargo holds must be inspected on more than 200 examples of this type of aircraft.
March 4: Norwegian renounces the Boeing 737 Max
Troubled Norwegian airline Norwegian will not operate its already delivered 18 Boeing 737 Max aircraft parked due to the global flight ban. The low-cost carrier is also attempting to cancel orders for 92 more 737 Max aircraft. A compensation payment from Boeing to Norwegian for the 737 Max grounding also remains open.
A few days ago, Norwegian had already canceled 88 Airbus A320neo and A321neo jets and also announced that it would no longer operate long-haul flights. The financial losses, which according to their own statements amounted to the equivalent of 1.6 billion euros in the last three months of the past year, are too high. In the course of the corona pandemic and travel restrictions, only 574,000 customers flew with Norwegian during this period, which corresponded to a decrease of 92 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Of the 131 aircraft in the Norwegian fleet, only 15 were in operation on average.
February 18th: First take-off of a Boeing 737 Max in Europe after a flight ban of almost two years
After almost two years of grounding, a Boeing 737 Max has taken off on a commercial flight in Europe for the first time. A machine of this type from the Belgian Tui Fly took off on Wednesday morning from Brussels to Alicante in Spain and on to Málaga, as can be seen on the Flightradar24 website. The European aviation safety authority Easa approved the return of the machine type to flight operations at the end of January.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the green light for the 737 MAX back in November. The global flight ban has been in effect since March 2019 after two crashes that killed several hundred people. For the resumption of air traffic, Boeing had made a number of technical changes. Among other things, the software of the stabilization system has been revised. Also, every airline has had to overhaul their training program for 737 Max pilots.
February 17: US Air Traffic Control orders inspections of Boeing 787 “Dreamliner”.
The US aircraft giant Boeing is again under pressure because of possible production defects in the long-haul jet 787 “Dreamliner”. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered inspections of around 222 machines on Wednesday because there was a risk of damage to so-called decompression panels used to separate the passenger area. According to the authority, the defect could have fatal consequences, for example if air freight catches fire.
A statement from Boeing was initially not available. The Airbus rival has long been struggling with problems with the “Dreamliner” that are slowing down deliveries of the important model. The group is already badly hit by the consequences of the Corona crisis and the debacle surrounding its best-selling 737 Max series, which was banned from flying worldwide for more than a year and a half after two crashes with a total of 346 deaths.
February 2: Boeing faces losing every third order for the 777X wide-body jet
The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has to worry about more than a third of its orders for its 777X wide-body jet because of the renewed delays in the development. The group put its order backlog at just 191 machines of the type, 38 percent less than stated on the group’s website. Because the first delivery of the model has been postponed to the end of 2023, some customers can cancel their orders.
Boeing announced further delays in the development and approval of the model last week. With the postponement to the end of 2023, the first delivery is around three years behind the original schedule. At the end of 2020, Boeing recorded a special charge of 6.5 billion US dollars in this connection, as a result of which the group had to cope with a record loss of 11.9 billion dollars for the full year.
The 777X is the fuel-efficient re-launch of the long-time best-seller Boeing 777. Aircraft of this size are used for long-haul operations, and industry estimates that this business will be the last to recover from the slump caused by the coronavirus crisis
January 27: Boeing reports record loss of $11.9 billion
The corona crisis, the debacle surrounding the 737 Max crash jet and new delays in the 777X wide-body jet have caused the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing 2020 to suffer a severe loss. The bottom line was a minus of more than 11.9 billion US dollars (9.8 billion euros), as announced by the Airbus rival on Wednesday in Chicago. It is by far the highest loss that Boeing has had to endure in its more than 100-year corporate history. In 2019 there had already been a minus of 636 million dollars.
Because of the 777X alone, Boeing put back 6.5 billion dollars at the end of the year. The bottom line is that the group lost 8.4 billion dollars in the three months to the end of December alone, a year ago the quarterly balance sheet was a good one billion in negative territory. The manufacturer also had to pay for a settlement with the US Department of Justice over allegations of fraud in the 737 Max scandal. Boeing’s revenue fell 24 percent to $58.2 billion in 2020 – the weakest value in about 15 years. Revenues also suffered from problems with the 787 “Dreamliner” long-haul jet, the delivery of which was delayed due to production defects.
But there was also good news: Boeing’s crisis jet 737 Max is allowed to take off again in Europe after almost two years of flight ban. After the US aviation authority FAA gave the green light in November, the European regulator EASA also approved it on Wednesday. “We have decided that the 737 Max can safely return to service,” said EASA chief Patrick Ky. The model was taken out of service in March 2019 after two crashes that killed 346 people. The main cause was a faulty control program.
´ January 19: According to EU air traffic control, the Boeing 737 Max can fly again from next week
Boeing’s crisis jet 737 Max should soon be allowed to take off again in Europe after almost two years of flight ban. Patrick Ky, head of the European aviation authority EASA, said on Tuesday in an online event of the German aviation press club that he expects to be approved again next week. In the opinion of the authority, the improvements to the aircraft type met the requirements for flight safety.
The 737 Max has already been approved again in Boeing’s home country of the USA and in Brazil. In Canada, the ban on taking off for the aircraft type will be lifted this Wednesday, as the local aviation authority Transport Canada announced on Monday. The airline Air Canada then announced that it would use the aircraft type again from February 1st.
Until the restart of the 737 Max in Europe, however, there are still pilot training courses. The special type Max 200 ordered by low-cost airline Ryanair will also be approved in the coming weeks and will be ready for the summer, said EASA boss Ky. The Boeing 737 Max was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes that killed 346 people. The main cause of the accidents was a faulty control program.
January 13: Boeing orders and deliveries devastated: More than 1000 cancellations in 2020
The debacle surrounding the 737 Max crash plane and the Corona crisis left deep scars on Boeing’s order and delivery balance last year. The bottom line is that the Airbus rival 2020 received a good 650 cancellations on Tuesday, according to its own statements. In total, more than 1,000 orders were removed from the order book because many orders are considered uncertain.
With only 157 commercial aircraft, deliveries last year were also historically poor. In the previous year – which was already suffering severely from the flight bans imposed on the best-selling 737 Max in the wake of two crashes – Boeing was able to bring around 60 percent more machines to customers. The competitor Airbus is rushing further and further with 566 delivered jets in 2020.
After the crisis pilot 737 Max was re-registered, some orders were received. On Tuesday, the Post subsidiary DHL Express announced that it had ordered eight Boeing 777F freighters. In addition, Boeing received an order for its already dead 747-8 jumbo jet from the US airline Atlas.
January 8, 2021: Boeing accepts $2.5 billion fine for 737 Max disaster
The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing will pay $2.5 billion in fines and compensation in connection with the crash of its 737 MAX plane. The US Department of Justice announced in Washington that the company had agreed to the fines. In return, the criminal proceedings against the company in the USA for conspiracy to commit fraud will be dropped.
The US attorney’s office accused Boeing of withholding information about the MCAS stabilization system from regulators. The system played a key role in the two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. In the event of an imminent stall, it automatically pushes the nose of the aircraft down, even if the pilot countersteers.
The company put “profit over openness,” spread “half-truths,” and “covered up” vis-à-vis the authorities, the US Attorney’s Office said. The aircraft manufacturer is said to have to pay a fine of $243.6 million, $1.77 billion in compensation to its customers and $500 million to a compensation fund for the victims of the crash.
CEO David Calhoun said the fine was “the right thing” given the company’s failings. “It’s a serious reminder to all of us of the importance of our commitment to transparency with regulators and the consequences for our business if one of us falls short of those expectations.”
December 30: American Airlines resumes Boeing 737 Max passenger service
Almost two years after the flight ban for the Boeing 737 Max, the aircraft type is again regularly on the road with passengers in the USA. American Airlines used a 737 Max for the first time Tuesday on the Miami to New York route. Flight AA718 landed punctually at 1:12 p.m. local time, according to the information on the online arrivals panel at LaGuardia Airport. The plane would later fly back to Miami.
These two flights on the route with the Boeing 737 Max are initially planned daily until next Monday, after which further flights with the machine should gradually be added to the flight plan. The machines of this type of aircraft were taken out of service in March 2019 after two crashes with 346 deaths. The main cause of the accidents was a faulty control program that steered the machines towards the ground.
December 10: 737 Max takes off for the first time since being grounded in scheduled operations
After two crashes that killed 346 people, Boeing’s 737 MAX took off on a commercial flight for the first time in more than 20 months. Brazilian airline Gol took off from São Paulo on Wednesday for a 90-minute domestic flight to Porto Alegre, reporters from AFP news agency reported. The Gol pilots had previously completed special training for the technically revised machines in the USA.
A worldwide flight ban was imposed on the machines of the type as a result of the crashes in March 2019. In mid-November, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the green light to resume air traffic after Boeing had made technical changes and revised the stabilization system software, among other things. At the same time, the authority had emphasized that before the machines could take off again, every airline would have to revise its training program for pilots of the 737 MAX.
November 18: US authorities lift the flight ban on the Boeing 737 MAX
The US authorities have lifted the flight ban on the Boeing 737 MAX imposed 20 months ago after two crashes. The US aviation authority FAA paved the way for the resumption of air traffic with the machine on Wednesday. However, the authority emphasized that before the machines could take off again, new training programs for pilots would have to be approved. Every airline needs to revise their training program for 737 MAX pilots.
The worldwide flight ban for the 737 MAX has been in effect since March 2019. It was imposed after two machines of this type crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia with a total of 346 fatalities. Investigators believe the crashes were caused by a problem in a stabilization system that forces the plane’s nose down when a stall threatens. Other technical problems were also discovered, including in the electrical wiring.
Boeing has now made technical changes, including the software of the stabilization system has been revised. The aircraft manufacturer described the lifting of the flight ban on Wednesday as an “important milestone”. However, the flight control authorities of other countries must also allow the Boeing 737 MAX again.
October 19: Head of Europe’s air traffic control: Boeing 737 Max is sufficiently safe
From the point of view of the European aviation authority EASA, Boeing’s crisis jet 737 Max fulfills important safety requirements. “Our analysis shows that it is safe and the level of safety achieved is high enough for us,” said EASA chief Patrick Ky in an interview with Bloomberg news agency. The ban on Boeing’s most popular aircraft type, which has been in effect since March 2019, could be lifted after more than a year and a half.
According to Ky, EASA is expected to publish its decision in November. The public can then comment on it for four weeks. EASA therefore carried out its own test flights with the revised 737 Max in the summer instead of relying on the FAA’s judgement. The FAA had already completed its hot test phase for re-licensing in early July.
The main customers of the aircraft type in Europe include Turkish Airlines, Norwegian, Icelandair and Tuifly. Aviation authorities from all over the world had withdrawn the Boeing jet’s approval after two crashes last year that killed 346 people. Faulty control software is believed to be the main cause of the 737 Max crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.
October 14: Boeing business continues to collapse as 737 Max cancellations mount
The debacle surrounding the crashed 737 Max jet and the Corona crisis are putting further pressure on the US aviation giant Boeing. In the third quarter, the Airbus rival delivered a total of just 28 aircraft, as announced on Tuesday. In the same period last year there were 63. Airbus delivered 57 jets in September alone, more than twice as many jets as Boeing did in the quarter.
Overall, Boeing lost 381 orders from the beginning of the year to the end of September. The group is particularly suffering from cancellations of the 737 Max. The model series was withdrawn from traffic in March 2019 after two crashes with 346 deaths because there were problems with control software. In the meantime, however, a re-registration of the unfortunate pilot is getting closer.
October 1: Boeing halts 787 “Dreamliner” production near Seattle
In order to reduce production costs in the Corona crisis, the US aviation giant Boeing is postponing production of its 787 “Dreamliner” model. The long-haul jet is traditionally produced in Everett near Seattle in the US state of Washington. In 2010 North Charleston in South Carolina was added as a second location. From 2021, the entire production of the model series is to be relocated there, as Boeing announced on Thursday. The production volume will drop to six jets per month from next year.
In a memo to employees, Boeing manager Stan Deal spoke of a “difficult decision” that was necessary for the company to be able to cope with the stresses of the pandemic. When asked, a spokeswoman said that about 900 people are currently employed in the 787 production in Everett. Boeing wants to try to keep the job cuts as low as possible. South Carolina is one of the southern US states that attracts corporations with lower wages and little union influence. However, there have long been reports of production defects in the Boeing plant there.
The decision is a heavy blow for the Everett location in the Puget Sound region. However, Boeing has a number of plants there with a total of tens of thousands of employees and emphasizes that the model series 737, 747, 767 and 777 would continue to be produced there. The group is badly hit by the debacle surrounding the 737 Max, which was grounded after two crashes, and the corona pandemic has further aggravated the situation. The Airbus rival had already announced that around 19,000 employees would be leaving due to the crisis, and further layoffs are likely to follow.
October 1: FAA chief steers Boeing’s 737 Max
Boeing is making progress with the attempted re-registration of the unfortunate 737 Max. Steve Dickson, head of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), completed a test flight with the crisis jet on Wednesday. As a pilot, it is important for him to convince himself of the safety of the machine. However, the FAA chief emphasized that the re-certification is not yet complete and that several more steps are needed before the 737 Max can be returned to service.
The FAA chief’s “Administrator’s Flight” is primarily of symbolic importance. However, the flight is definitely an important hurdle for Boeing to get a new operating license for the aircraft model that has been banned from take-off since March 2019 due to two crashes with 346 deaths. Dickson – a long-time pilot for Delta Air Lines, among others – had always insisted that he would not give the 737 Max the green light until he had flown it himself.
September 14: EASA completes test flights on Boeing’s 737 Max crisis jet
Boeing’s 737 Max crisis jet, which was banned from take-off worldwide after two devastating crashes, is getting closer to being re-registered. After the US aviation authority FAA, the European regulator EASA has now also completed its test flights with the revised machine. Due to travel restrictions due to the corona pandemic, the flights were carried out in Vancouver, Canada, the Cologne-based EASA announced on Friday.
The next step is to evaluate the flight data and other information, the statement said. EASA has been working closely with the FAA and Boeing to ensure the 737 Max can be returned to service as soon as possible. To do this, however, the authority must be firmly convinced of the safety of the aircraft. Boeing’s bestseller was pulled from service in March 2019 after two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. The main cause of the accidents is a faulty control software of the Airbus rival. Boeing had actually wanted to have the problems fixed long ago, but instead new deficiencies were added.
September 9th: Production defects in the 787 “Dreamliner” set Boeing back
Problems with the long-haul 787 “Dreamliner” jet continue to put pressure on the troubled US aircraft giant Boeing. The Airbus rival acknowledged that inspections due to possible production defects on the model are delaying deliveries. Boeing first wanted to thoroughly examine the aircraft, the company said. The stock reacted with price losses.
The “Wall Street Journal” had reported the day before, citing government documents and insiders, about investigations by the US aviation authority FAA due to possible years of production margins and control deficits. On request, the authority confirmed investigations into manufacturing defects in certain “Dreamliner” jets. However, it is too early to speculate about possible consequences in terms of airworthiness.
Boeing is already deep in crisis because of the 737 Max aircraft model, which was banned from take-off worldwide after two crashes. There have also been reports of defects in 787 production for some time. The “New York Times” wrote in 2019 that Boeing had received information about security risks, but had partially ignored them. The newspaper cited hundreds of pages of internal emails, company and government documents, and interviews with more than a dozen employees.
August 14: More and more airlines are canceling their orders for the Boeing 737 Max
The aircraft should be the bestseller, the Boeing 737 Max: At the beginning of 2019, Boeing was able to announce that airlines had ordered more than 5,000 machines. That was after the first Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia and before the second crash of a jet of the same type in Ethiopia.
But after the flight ban of almost one and a half years, the aircraft manufacturer can hardly register any new orders. On the contrary: The cancellations are piling up and amounted to 416 copies this year alone. “At the end of July 2020, the aircraft manufacturer only had open orders for 4129 Boeing 737 Max in the books. Of these, however, more than 630 are considered uncertain,” writes the “Aerotelegraph” on its website. The number of firm and secure 737 Max orders has thus slipped to under 3,500. In contrast, the order books at Airbus for the competing models in the A320 family are bulging: the European aircraft manufacturer reports that 6,065 units have been ordered.
July 29: Boeing halts production of the 747 jumbo jet
The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing is discontinuing production of its 747 jumbo jet after more than 50 years. The last 747 will be built in 2022, Boeing announced on Wednesday in Chicago. CEO Dave Calhoun justified the step with the current market development. What was once the largest passenger jet in the world completed its maiden flight in 1969.
July 27: Delivery of the first Boeing 777X is likely to be delayed by another year
The aircraft manufacturer Boeing not only has problems with the Boeing 737 Max, which continues to be affected by a global flight ban. The new Boeing 777X long-haul jet, which made its maiden flight at the end of January 2020, was actually supposed to be handed over to the first customers this summer, including Lufthansa and Emirates Airlines. But as “airlive.net” reports, Boeing will soon announce that it will “postpone the schedule by a year”. Two sources told the portal. According to a third source, a time window between 2022 and 2023 is being considered for the start of series production.
The wide-bodied aircraft is a further development of the bestseller, the Boeing 777. The successor model can transport more than 400 passengers. The aircraft was lengthened to 76.7 meters and the wingspan increased to 71.7 meters. Delays initially occurred due to premature wear and tear on the GE9X engine newly developed by General Electric. Then an “Ultimate Load Test” in early September 2019 led to cracks in the aluminum skin of the fuselage. During this static test, in which the cabin is subjected to a pressure similar to that at cruising altitude, a door flew out of its anchorage.
June 2: Boeing 737 MAX completes first series of test flights
The Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide, has successfully completed a series of test flights. The three-day test phase for the machine in the US west coast state of Washington has been completed, as the US Air Traffic Control Authority announced. She described these first test flights since the flight ban as an “important milestone” on the way to the new registration of the machine.
However, a number of “key tasks” still have to be completed before the 737 MAX can be re-certified, the authority emphasized at the same time. This includes analyzing the data collected during the test flights. The FAA will only lift the flight ban once its safety experts are certain that the aircraft meets all the requirements, the statement said.
Investigators believe the two crashes were caused by a problem in a stabilization system that forces the plane’s nose down when a stall threatens. Other technical problems were also discovered, including in the electrical wiring. Boeing has now made technical changes, including the software of the stabilization system has been revised.
June 30: Norwegian cancels nearly 100 aircraft orders
The low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle is withdrawing all orders from Boeing and is taking legal action against the troubled US manufacturer. A total of 97 machines, 92 crisis jets of the type 737 Max and five long-haul aircraft of the 787 “Dreamliner” brand are involved, as Norwegian announced in Oslo on Tuesday night. According to list prices, the aircraft are worth a total of 10.6 billion dollars (9.4 billion euros). However, significant discounts are common for large orders.
Norwegian said it suffered significant casualties as a result of Boeing’s 737 Max being grounded after two crashes in March 2019. Boeing has not been allowed to deliver the machines to customers since then. Talks with Boeing have not resulted in an agreement with reasonable compensation, Norwegian said. In addition, there were also problems with 787 machines, which would have led to unscheduled maintenance work. Norwegian now intends to take legal action for the damage and advance payments incurred.
Boeing initially did not comment on the announcement. Actually, the ailing Airbus rival finally had reason to celebrate on Monday. The first of a series of crucial 737-Max certification flights took place at Boeing Field near Seattle, which should lead to the crisis jets being re-licensed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Boeing thus reached an important milestone, which led to strong price gains on the stock exchange. However, there are still a few more hurdles to overcome in order to be re-certified.
June 25: New FAA policy regarding cable issues on 737 Max crisis jet
Boeing’s 737 Max crisis jet, which was grounded after two crashes, must be checked for another safety risk in the future. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday introduced a guideline mandating inspections for better protection of wiring near the engines. Boeing announced that it had discovered the deficiencies itself and had already recommended the measure in December 2019. The manufacturer works closely with its customers to ensure that the engine nacelles are fully protected from electrical energy. Boeing supports the FAA’s new airworthiness directive.
June 18: US lawmakers vehemently criticize FAA Air Traffic Control
The head of the US Federal Aviation Administration, Steve Dickson, has had to listen to fierce allegations from members of Congress after the devastating crash of two Boeing jets. The authority tried to deliberately obstruct the investigation into the accident, criticized top politician Roger Wicker from the Republican Party at a Senate hearing on Wednesday (local time) in Washington. “Mr. Dickson, I hold you responsible for this,” the Mississippi state senator said.
The FAA is accused of turning a blind eye to certification and letting the manufacturer fool it. At times, sensitive internal issues strained the company’s relationship with the authority so much that the tensions were considered a reason for the ex-CEO Dennis Muilenburg being thrown out in December. Boeing had to justify explosive employee chats, which said, among other things, about the 737 Max: “This plane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
June 3: Tui and Boeing agree on damages for 737 Max grounding
After the flight ban on the medium-haul jet 737 Max, the world’s largest travel group Tui has agreed with the aircraft manufacturer Boeing on compensation for the damage caused. A large part of the burden will be balanced in the next two years, Tui said on Wednesday in Hanover. The deal also makes it easier for the tourism group, which was hit by the Corona crisis, to downsize its fleet. Among other things, Tui agreed with Boeing that ordered aircraft would only be accepted later: “In the next two years, less than half of the aircraft originally planned will be delivered.”
The group has ordered a total of 77 examples of the 737 Max and has already received 16, of which 15 are already in service. However, they have been on the ground since March 2019. A re-admission is still pending. Since January, Boeing has stopped production of the jet and now wants to slowly restart it. Due to the ban on flying the 737 Max jets and the stopped deliveries last year, Tui had to rent expensive replacement aircraft on a large scale, some of which also used significantly more fuel. In the 2018/2019 financial year alone, Tui estimated the burden of the 737 Max disaster at 293 million euros.
May 28: Aircraft manufacturer announces mass layoffs
The ailing aircraft manufacturer Boeing is serious about its large-scale job cuts in the Corona crisis. Around 6,770 employees in the United States will receive their dismissal letters this week, as announced by the Airbus rival on Wednesday. The layoffs are in addition to around 5,520 employees who have accepted severance offers and are leaving the group in the coming weeks. There will be thousands more departures in the coming months, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in a memo to employees.
The wave of layoffs comes as no surprise: Boeing had already announced at the end of April that it would reduce its workforce of around 160,000 by around ten percent. This plan has now only been fleshed out. The group has long been in deep crisis due to the problem plane 737 Max, which has been banned from take-off worldwide for more than a year after two devastating crashes. The corona pandemic, which has almost brought air traffic to a standstill, has put the company under even more pressure.
April 30: Corona crisis and 737 Max debacle cause Boeing to suffer a huge loss
The corona pandemic and the debacle surrounding the 737 Max crashed plane put Boeing in the red in the first quarter. The bottom line was a loss of 641 million US dollars (591 million euros), as announced by the US aviation group in Chicago. In the corresponding period of the previous year, Boeing had made a profit of 2.1 billion dollars.
Boeing is already deep in crisis because of the problem plane 737 Max, which has been grounded worldwide for more than a year after two devastating crashes. The company is in even greater distress as a result of the corona pandemic, which has almost brought air traffic to a standstill. “The pandemic is affecting every aspect of our business,” said CEO Dave Calhoun. He now confirmed the planned cut of ten percent of the jobs that had already been reported in the past few days. This is to be done through a severance program, but also through layoffs if necessary.
April 29: US authorities investigate Boeing due to production defects
According to US media, the ailing aviation group is threatened with even more legal trouble because of the crisis plane 737 Max. Boeing has now also been targeted by the Department of Justice because of production defects in the model, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing insiders. Boeing must reckon with civil and criminal consequences. Boeing did not confirm the investigation directly when asked. However, a spokesman pointed out that the problems were discovered during an internal investigation and that measures were taken immediately.
Boeing admitted in February that during maintenance work on the crisis jet 737 Max, which was grounded after two crashes, foreign objects were found in the fuel tanks. The parts found were described as “foreign object debris” – according to which it could be debris such as unremoved metal shavings, remains of components or tools or rags left behind by workers. Boeing had previously had this problem with other models such as the KC-46 tanker aircraft and the long-haul 787 “Dreamliner” jet. The group is due to alleged safety deficiencies
April 27: Boeing calls off billion-euro deal with Embraer
After two years of negotiations: The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing will not take over the Brazilian rival Embraer after all. Boeing said it had failed to buy four-fifths of Embraer’s commercial aircraft business for $4.2 billion. It was not possible to agree on the terms of the takeover, said Boeing manager Marc Allen.
With the purchase, Boeing would have incorporated Embraer’s range of smaller aircraft. That would have strengthened the Americans in competition with European rival Airbus, which has already taken over the C-Series from Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. Embraer, on the other hand, claims that Boeing terminated the contract unlawfully “in view of its own financial situation” and because of the “737 Max situation”.
April 20: Aircraft production slowly restarts
The ailing US aviation giant Boeing wants to resume aircraft production that has been stopped. Operations in the factories in the Puget Sound region in Washington state are to be gradually ramped up again from April 20. According to Boeing, around 27,000 employees are to resume work. This affects production at the Renton and Everett plants, where the 787, 777, 747 and 767 models are built.
Because of the corona pandemic, production was stopped indefinitely last month. Due to a production stop that has been in effect since January for the 737 Max model, which has been banned from take-off worldwide after two plane crashes, Boeing’s production will initially remain severely restricted. The 787 “Dreamliner” production in South Carolina is also on hold for the time being.
April 15: Airlines cancel more than 300 737 Max aircraft
The ailing US aviation giant Boeing is losing more and more 737 Max orders in the Corona crisis. In the first quarter, a total of 314 orders for the problem aircraft, which was grounded after two crashes, were canceled, as the Airbus rival announced in Chicago on Tuesday.
Overall, Boeing lost 307 aircraft orders by the end of March, as at least some new orders came in for other models. Boeing is already badly hit by the 737-Max debacle, and the coronavirus pandemic is now making the situation even more difficult. On Tuesday, the stock initially came under further pressure.
April 6: Boeing indefinitely extends production stop at main plants
Not just 14 days, but longer: The factory in Everett and also the other plants in the state of Washington will remain closed until further notice. The production stop has been in effect since March 25 and was initially limited to two weeks. Boeing manufactures the 747, 767, 777 and part of the 787 at the Everett plant. Overall, Boeing employs around 70,000 people in the west coast state.
The group, which was already badly hit before the pandemic, has asked the US government for financial aid to get through the Corona crisis, which has led to a global slump in air traffic. The US airline industry can hope for billions in loans from a gigantic bailout approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.
March 24: Not just 737 Max – Boeing plants in Seattle halt aircraft production for 14 days
The US aircraft manufacturer will stop work at its plants in Everett and Moses Lake in the state of Washington for the next 14 days. This brings production of the Boeing 747, 777, 787 and 767 passenger and freight aircraft to a standstill. The announcement comes just a day after a Boeing 777 assembly line worker died of complications from the coronavirus, the Seattle Times reports.
“These measures are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community,” Boeing said. The affected factories are to be thoroughly cleaned. Due to a production stop for the bestseller 737 Max, which was banned from take-off worldwide after two plane crashes, the production of the Airbus rival has already been severely restricted since January. On Friday, the group had already suspended executive salaries, dividends and share buybacks.
March 16: Boeing 737 jet ruptured – US regulators investigating incident
After an incident involving a Southwest Airlines machine, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating whether certain Boeing jets need to be checked more frequently for cracks. The FAA said a tear in the fuselage of a Boeing 737 more than a foot long was found after a flight from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho.
During the flight, the air pressure in the cabin gradually decreased and the crew reduced the altitude to reach a safe level. The flight could then be continued without the use of oxygen masks, accidents or injuries. A spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines told the Wall Street Journal that the affected Boeing machine is currently being repaired. The matter does not concern the 737 Max aircraft type, which has been banned from take-off worldwide for over a year.
March 7: US Congress calls Boeing 737 Max “fundamentally flawed and unsafe”
According to the US Congress, Boeing’s 737 Max is a “fundamentally flawed and unsafe” machine. The reasons for this are both design errors by Boeing and a lack of control by the FAA, according to the preliminary report published on Friday by the responsible congressional committee. Boeing and the FAA “gambled with people’s safety.” The 737 MAX was grounded a year ago after two crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing is therefore under massive economic pressure. Affected airlines are therefore demanding billions in compensation from the US group.
Meanwhile, it became known that the FAA is demanding a fine of $19.7 million (17.5 million euros) from Boeing for unapproved components in hundreds of aircraft. According to a statement on Friday, the authority accuses the aircraft manufacturer of having installed certain sensors in 791 jets of the 737 series that had not yet been approved. Specifically, it is about components from the manufacturer Rockwell Collins in 618 Boeing 737 NG and 173 Boeing 737 Max. Boeing has 30 days to pay or contest the fine. The company said it was cooperating with the FAA’s investigation and has already responded to the complaints.
March 3: US authorities require improved simulator training for the 737 Max
At the beginning of the year, Boeing made the fundamental decision that simulator training will be required for all pilots of the Boeing 737 Max in the future. That was not the case before. For flight captains of the older 737 types, a short retraining session on the iPad was enough to familiarize themselves with the new Max model.
However, in the most recent tests by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) with pilots from United, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Aeromexico in the simulator, the officials found a high error rate. Difficulties arose in simulated emergencies when the revised MCAS automatic trim system was activated. Therefore, the US Federal Aviation Administration has now called for “additional training requirements related to the aircraft”; a measure that is likely to delay the commissioning of the controversial aircraft type again.
February 25: Technicians find foreign objects in tanks of two-thirds of all new Boeing 737 Max
Boeing again has a quality problem in manufacturing. According to the Seattle Times, the aircraft manufacturer confirmed that foreign objects such as rags and tools were found in the wing tanks of 35 of 50 Boeing 737 Max jets examined. Accordingly, not only all 400 aircraft not yet delivered must be checked, but also those that already belong to the airlines’ fleets and are affected by the global flight ban. The additional inspections are time-consuming and require up to three days per machine, since all kerosene must first be drained from the tanks before mechanics can crawl into the tanks.
February 7: Boeing has new software problem with crisis pilot 737 Max
The ailing US aviation group Boeing has found a new software problem in the 737 Max crisis jet, which has been banned from flying. During the 737 Max test flights, according to Boeing, a warning light related to the trim system used to stabilize the flight angle came on. The reason is discrepancies in the data feed between the flight control computers. The problem will be fixed with a software update to ensure that the warning light will work properly in the future.
Boeing’s 737 Max was grounded worldwide in mid-March 2019 after two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. The supervisory authorities decide whether and when they can take off again. The decisive cause of the devastating accidents is a faulty automatic control of the aircraft. Boeing had actually wanted to fix this original problem with an update before the second 737 Max crash, but approval from the international regulatory authorities has still not been received.
January 30: Boeing reports losses for the first time in 22 years
The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing made a loss last year for the first time in more than two decades because of the serious problems with the 737 MAX. The minus for the fourth quarter of 2019 totals one billion dollars, for the full year it amounts to 636 million dollars (578 million euros), as Boeing announced on Wednesday. The group put the additional costs for compensation payments to customers and for production losses at 9.2 billion dollars.
In its 104-year company history, the US group has only been in the red four times, in addition to 2019 and 1997 in 1995 and 1946. In 2018, Boeing made a net profit of 10.5 billion dollars.
January 25: New Model 777X makes its maiden flight
Finally good news from Seattle: The new 777X wide-bodied jet has successfully completed its maiden flight, which was actually planned for 2019. The aircraft took off from Paine Field in Everett on Saturday (local time) and landed on the factory site after a three-hour and 51-minute flight over the state, Boeing announced in Seattle.
The twin-engine 777X, the 777-8 and 777-9 variants of which differ in size and range, is a further development of the 777 series. The first aircraft in the 777X series are scheduled for delivery in 2021. According to current information, 340 orders are on the books. In addition to Lufthansa and Emirates, major customers include Qatar Airways, Etihad, the Japanese ANA, as well as Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Singapore Airlines.
January 24: Ryanair plans to order 100 aircraft from Airbus
U-turn at the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair: For its subsidiary Lauda in Austria, with which many holiday destinations such as Palma de Mallorca are also served from Germany, Ryanair is in discussion with Airbus about a large order. So far, Ryanair has operated an all-Boeing fleet. However, due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, the Irish have not yet received any of the 135 copies ordered. This is how Ryanair wants to grow through the subsidiary. “We are currently in talks with Airbus for a further fleet expansion,” confirmed a Laudamotion spokeswoman for “WirtschaftsWoche”.
The airline already flies 23 Airbus jets, which come from the takeover of the predecessor company, which once belonged to Air Berlin.
January 15: Boeing commercial aircraft orders down for the first time in decades
For the first time in decades, the ailing US aircraft manufacturer Boeing recorded a drop in orders for civil aircraft last year. In 2019, Boeing received more cancellations for machines already ordered than new orders. Accordingly, the bottom line is a minus of 87 aircraft.
Deliveries also went down. Boeing delivered 380 machines last year, 53 percent fewer than in 2018. CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who was accused of poor crisis management, was fired in December. His successor, David Calhoun, took office on Monday.
January 14: Boeing supplier lays off 2,800 employees because of the MAX crisis
The aircraft supplier Spirit AeroSystems is laying off 2,800 employees because of the production stop for the Boeing 737 MAX. That corresponds to 16 percent of the workforce. The MAX machines account for half of annual sales and Boeing has not yet announced how long the production stop will last. Among other things, Spirit AeroSystems builds the aircraft fuselage for the Boeing 737 MAX.
Due to the global flight ban, airlines had to cancel thousands of flights and use other machines. They are therefore demanding compensation from Boeing. The aircraft manufacturer set aside $ 5.6 billion (almost 5.1 billion euros) for such payments in July.
January 8: Pilots of the Boeing 737 Max are to train in the simulator
U-turn and late insight at Boeing: The US aircraft manufacturer has now spoken out in favor of training pilots in flight simulators before the 737 Max model is re-licensed. In addition to training on computers, all Max pilots should train in simulators, the company said, which is under massive pressure. Interim boss Greg Smith said safety was “the top priority” at Boeing. If the US Air Traffic Control Authority (FAA) approves the proposal, the resumption of flight operations of the 737 Max is likely to be further delayed.
Such training in simulators is expensive for airlines. So far, Boeing had argued that computer training was sufficient. The flight control authorities of the European Union and Canada see things differently and require training on simulators, with which various flight scenarios can be simulated realistically, before the aircraft can be put into operation again.
January 6th: New Boeing problem – risk of short circuit on the 737 Max
When checking the weak points of the unfortunate plane, a new problem arose in the Boeing 737 Max in addition to the controversial MCAS software: According to the “New York Times”, two cable strands are laid so closely in the rear that a short circuit can occur. Boeing discovered the vulnerability in December and then the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The aviation authority FAA classified the danger situation as potentially “catastrophic”, which in the worst case can lead to crashes. The report also considers checking older 737 types such as the Boeing 737-600 to -900.
January 3: Boeing’s 737 Max model crisis continues to affect Ryanair
The serious crisis of Boeing with its medium-haul jet Boeing 737 Max continues to burden Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair. “We have a difficulty – and it has three letters,” said company boss Michael O’Leary of “Wirtschaftswoche”. The Irish airline should have received 58 machines by next summer. “Then it went down to 30, then 20, then ten and finally maybe only five. We may not get the first jets until October 2020.” Ryanair had ordered 135 of the medium-haul jets, but after two crashes, the US company has not been able to deliver the type since last March.
January 2, 2020: Turkish Airlines receives $225 million in compensation from Boeing
The airline Turkish Airlines and the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing have agreed to pay compensation in the face of the 737 Max jet crisis. The newspaper “Hürriyet” reported that Turkish Airlines received an amount of 225 million US dollars. This covers the airline’s 2019 losses. The airline said: “Turkish Airlines and Boeing have agreed on compensation for certain losses caused by grounded and undelivered Boeing 737 Max aircraft.”
At Turkish Airlines, 12 aircraft of the type remained on the ground. In addition, Turkish Airlines should receive twelve of the planes in 2019. Because of the flight stop and undelivered planes, Turkish Airlines had to increase fares and cut domestic flights. In early December, Turkish media reported that the airline was also ready to sue Boeing over the losses.
December 23, 2019: Boeing boss Muilenburg resigns
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg is resigning from his position with immediate effect. Boeing announced this on Monday. He is to be succeeded by David Calhoun, who is currently the head of the board of directors.
Boeing is in crisis after two 737 Max plane crashes. Airmen around the world have had to stay on the ground for months. Boeing announced a temporary halt to production of the model last week.
Boeing’s official press release suggests that Muilenburg’s resignation was not entirely voluntary: “The Board of Directors has concluded that a change in leadership has become necessary to fill the lost confidence of regulators, customers and shareholders restore,” says the statement from the aircraft manufacturer. Read more here.
December 20: United Airlines cancels 737 Max flights through June
The US airline United Airlines is preparing for an even longer forced break from Boeing’s crisis jet 737 Max. The planes, which were grounded after two crashes, will be removed from the flight schedule by June 4, United announced on Friday. The company had previously expected a failure until March. The other two major US airlines with 737 Max models in the fleet – Southwest and American – had canceled flights with the machines until April.
The 737 Max has not been allowed to take off since mid-March 2019 after two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. There is currently little evidence of a rapid re-admission. After the US aviation authority FAA recently warned Boeing of unrealistic schedules, the company announced on Monday that it would temporarily stop production from January. This increases the pressure on the airlines, which have already had to cancel a number of flights and are waiting for numerous jets to be ordered.
December 20th: Starliner spacecraft launched – but not to the ISS
There were problems during the first test flight of Boeing’s spaceship “Starliner” to the ISS space station. After the rocket launch on Friday morning (local time) from the US spaceport Cape Canaveral, the capsule was in a stable orbit around the earth, Nasa boss Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter. However, a drive that was necessary to reach the ISS failed. Bridenstine announced a press conference for Friday morning (local time). During the first endurance test, there were no people on board. In the future, Boeing wants to bring American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) with the “Starliner” on behalf of the US space agency Nasa. On Saturday, the spaceship is supposed to dock for the first time at mankind’s outpost 400 kilometers above the earth’s surface. After that, his return is expected for December 28th.
December 18: Southwest Airlines cancels 737 Max flights through April
In view of the high level of uncertainty surrounding Boeing’s 737 Max crisis jet, the major US airlines are preparing for a prolonged forced break. Southwest Airlines announced that it would be removing the aircraft, which were grounded after two devastating crashes, from its flight schedule for a longer period of time. The 737 Max is expected to be retired by April 13.
Last week, American Airlines announced that it would no longer plan to use the unfortunate Boeing aircraft until April. The airlines are now assuming that the failure of the important model, which has not been allowed to take off since mid-March, will last for more than a year.
December 17: Boeing temporarily halts production of the 737 MAX starting in January
Boeing is temporarily suspending production of the 737 Max crisis jet in view of the high level of uncertainty about a re-registration from January. The aircraft type has been banned from take-off since mid-March. The reason is two crashes within a few months, in which numerous people died. Boeing had already significantly reduced 737 production in April and throttled the monthly production rate from 52 to around 42 machines.
But since Boeing is not allowed to deliver the machines until they are re-registered, high costs and logistical problems arise. According to Boeing, around 400 aircraft currently have to be temporarily stored, which is increasingly leading to a lack of space. The head of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made it clear to Boeing last week that the aircraft manufacturer was pursuing an “unrealistic” schedule. Read more here.
12th of December. Whistleblower raises serious allegations against Boeing
A former Boeing manager made serious allegations against the aircraft manufacturer at a congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday (local time). “I saw a factory in chaos and raised serious concerns about manufacturing quality with senior Boeing executives months before the first crash,” said Ed Pierson. Before the second accident, he reported problems again, but none of his tips had any effect. Boeing is suspected of having rushed the unfortunate aircraft onto the market and neglecting safety. The group denies this, but has admitted errors in the 737 Max. Read more here.
December 7: Boeing is ordered to pay a fine of $3.9 million
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing installed defective parts in 133 Boeing 737 jets. Despite knowledge, these machines were registered for the final certification of airworthiness. The components in question are so-called slat tracks on the adjustable slat flaps. The authority and gives the aircraft manufacturer 30 days to take a position. Otherwise, a penalty of 3.9 million US dollars is due – the equivalent of 3.5 million euros. Read more here.