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Boeing’s 737 Max Might Be Grounded Past the Holidays

Say Contributor

More bad news for Boeing, as it seems likely that their popular 737 Max model might not be in the air until after the holidays. Maxed Out Boeing took the 737 Max out of the air, following two horrific crashes that killed more than 400 people, and has reportedly considered temporarily halting production of the model. It looks like more delays are likely ahead, as a briefing between the company and international regulators was scuttled when the aviation giant was, per The Wall Street Journal, accused of having “failed to provide technical details and answer specific questions about modifications in the operation of MAX flight-control computers.” Submission Hold Boeing must now resubmit the requested documents, which will prove that upgrades have been made to their flight control software. The original MAX design relied on a single computer during each flight, which left planes vulnerable to safety hazards caused by sensor malfunctions or failures. The changes to the software have to be vetted by the Federal Aviation Administration before Boeing can again meet with the regulators and undergo the required flight and simulator tests. A Boeing spokesperson was hopeful that the Max could be back in the air by December, but the timing is ultimately not up them, and some analysts think that next year is far more realistic. Far to Go Boeing has just been taking a bath lately, as the company already expected the production slowdown to cost an additional $1.7 billion, in addition to the $100-million dollar fund the company pledged to create for the family of victims of the crash (which many critics feel just isn’t enough), and airlines that relied on the Max 737 have been agitating for compensation. Southwest Airlines and Air Canada have already decided to not schedule any flights on the 737 for the rest of the year, rather than be caught short-handed during the holidays. How this will ultimately impact their stock remains to be seen (though it did drop 2.66% today), but it’s not likely to help their numbers any. Break Up Following reports that whistleblowers’s attempts to alert investors to safety flaws in the Max 737 were ignored, and after consumer advocate Ralph Nader called for the Security Exchange Commission to require Boeing's board to include more commercial aviation experts, 34% of shareholders recently voted to break up CEO Dennis Mullenberg's dual roles as chair and board, but the measure didn’t pass. -Michael Tedder Photo via Adobe