U.S. markets open in 3 hours 11 minutes

Boeing Finds Yet Another Problem In The Grounded 737 Max Aircraft

Neer Varshney

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) found foreign object debris (FOD) in the fuel tanks of some of the grounded 737 Max aircraft during a recent inspection.

What Happened

"FOD is absolutely unacceptable," Mark Jenks, the vice president and general manager of the 737 program told employees in an email published by Leeham News. "One escape is one too many."

According to Jenks, Boeing is working on fixing the issue with urgency. A Boeing spokesperson told the Washington Post that the new discovery is unlikely to further delay the ungrounding that has been off-air since March last year.

Boeing didn't give further details on what the debris included, or how many planes were affected. As noted by the Post earlier, debris typically includes tools or parts left behind accidentally during production.

Why It Matters

The 737 Max line was banned from flying, pending investigations, by the regulators after two crashes involving the aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed at least 346 people.

Boeing doesn't expect the aircraft to be ungrounded at least until the middle of this year.

Internal audits by the company have revealed more technical issues over the ones known at the time when the 737 Max was grounded. Internal documents showing that the employees deliberately ignored the safety glitches didn't help its case.

This isn't the first time that Boeing is having problems with debris either. The Air Force had expressed similar concerns about debris last year when it temporarily stopped accepting the deliveries of a Boeing aircraft.

The aircraft maker reached a $12 million settlement with the Federal Aviation Administration on the same issue in 2015, which also required it to upscale its internal auditing measures.

Price Action

Boeing's shares traded slightly higher at $339.04 in the after-hours session after closing 0.49% lower, at $338.88.

See more from Benzinga

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.