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Boeing 737 MAX Has “No Value” – Lawyer Says Public Doesn’t Trust It, Client Can’t Use It



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Aug 31 2019
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Chicago-based United Airlines had planned to resume service with the grounded Boeing 737 MAX in early November, but is now targeting December 19 instead. Grounded by safety regulators since March in the wake of two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that claimed 346 lives, the carrier seriously hopes flights could resume before Christmas.

 

Airlines in the United States have had to kill thousands of flights during what has been one of the busiest summer-travel seasons on record. Even if United’s wish is granted and its fleet of 737 MAX could take off by December 19, it would have cancelled a staggering 9,500 flights from September to December 19 alone. That speaks volumes about the impact of the Boeing jets being grounded.

 

However, don’t hold your breath. Although Boeing has developed a fix for the software system implicated in both crashes, it’s not easy for the MAX to gain regulatory approval to resume service, not after what had happened. Once regulators allow the MAX to return, it could take at least 6 weeks for airlines to install the new software, train pilots, and get their aircraft ready to fly again.

Boeing 737 MAX - Office Building

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the agency that oversees American airspace, is notorious for ensuring the safety of civil aircraft in operation. However, in the case of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (killed 157 people on Mar 10, 2019) and Lion Air Flight 610 (killed 189 people on Oct 29, 2018), FAA’s reputation has taken a plunge for obvious reason.

 

Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell declared there was “no basis to order grounding” of the Boeing MAX-8, the best selling model that crashed minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – despite the fact that an exact model of the plane belonging to the Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air had also crashed in a similar fashion in October, 2018.

 

FAA’s action, backing the airworthiness of Boeing’s 737 MAX jets, was facing mounting criticism until President Donald Trump ordered the grounding of the aircrafts in the U.S. Was FAA trying to protect the U.S. aircraft manufacturer to the extent of ignoring its own professionalism? As it turned out, Boeing knew about the software error, but kept quiet about it.

Boeing 737 MAX - MCAS Control System - How It Works

Boeing’s engineers reportedly discovered the error in 2017 but assumed there was no safety risk after a review. The company waited until after the October 2018’s Lion Air crash to begin telling airlines that the alert system had an issue. It waited another 5 months – until the Ethiopian Airlines crash – to reveal more details. Even then, it would take another 6 weeks before the public learned of the issue.

 

Hence, it’s not hard to understand why the FAA would be more stringent than usual in approving the airworthiness of the Boeing 737 MAX. Some airlines, including Southwest Airlines Co. and Air Canada, have given up on the prospect of flying the Boeing 737 MAX this year. But even if the FAA finally gives its green light by the end of this year, it would not be business as usual.

 

Based on a survey done by investment bank UBS, about 70% people have expressed hesitation to fly on Boeing 737 MAX jet. In the same breath, 41% of Americans say they would only consider flying on the 737 Max after 6 months of safe operation. That means they would wait and see others as guinea pig takes to the sky before putting their own lives on the aircraft.

Boeing 737 Max 8 - Grounded - Crash

But on the ground, Boeing has another problem – fighting off lawsuits which could potentially prolong the return of public confidence. Steven Marks, a lawyer representing Avia Capital Services, said that the company no longer wants to take delivery of its order of 737 Max jets. He said – “The public doesn’t have any trust in it, the client can’t use it. It has no value to them.”

 

Believed to be the first lawsuit arising out of the safety crisis at the U.S. manufacturer, Avia’s lawsuit filing says that two aircraft crashes, with extensive loss of life, were due to “negligent actions and decisions of Boeing”. It also says the 737 MAX is “defective” and that crucial information was withheld from the U.S. Aviation Safety Regulator.

 

In its lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago on Monday, Avia Capital Services is claiming US$115 million in compensation plus punitive damages. The aviation leasing firm wants to cancel its order for 35 MAX 8 jets, and demands a cash deposit of US$35 million to be returned with interest, along with US$75 million in lost profits.

Boeing 737 MAX - Assembly Line

Avia is also asking “several times” that amount in punitive damages, which could cost Boeing hundreds of millions of dollars. Claiming breach of contract in connection with its grounded 737 MAX, the Miami aviation law firm Podhurst Orseck representing Avia disclosed that Boeing had offered compensation but it was inadequate.

 

Thanks to the grounding, its deliveries of 737 MAX have already fallen by 37% in the first 6 months of 2019. And since the crash and safety scandal, Boeing has not reported any new order for the MAX planes. The Wall Street Journal reported that the situation was so bad that more than 150 undelivered MAX jets are parked at sites around the United States.

 

Along with about 380 MAX planes belonging to airlines in the U.S. which remained grounded by regulators since March, there are a whopping 530 planes of similar model eating dust on the ground, including car parks. In July, Flyadeal, a low-cost airline owned by Saudi Arabia flag carrier Saudia, becomes the first airline to officially drop Boeing 737 MAX order – cancelling 50 MAX jets worth US$6 billion.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 - Grounded Suspended and Undelivered - Car Parks

 

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Comments

I will never fly on this type of aircraft, it’s not worth taking the risk. I will be willing to pay more or change my plans rather than flying on the Boeing 737 max and advise all others to do the same

Just to have a better and more accurate image of who
is throwing out the stone, this Avia Capital Services
is nothing else than 100% russian government owned.

Without reading the article, it’s difficult to get past the first photo of the 7-EIGHTY-7…doesn’t give the author or the organization much credibility…

I dont care if i ever fly in another 737 max.
Competition with airbus and a desire to stay copetitive
killed 300 + people.
The fix will just be a fix for another fix.
No confidence!

It has been my experience that Boeing may not be right, but they are never wrong. They need to go under!

Why didn’t they just take out this system & let the pilots fly the plane?

The discredit killer 737 will be so cheap that many people could have one for Weekend ride but parking one at home will be a problem

I do not trust Boing altogether. Their interest is piling MONEY by any means, regardless of who dies out of the public

They lack the principles of Business Ethics. They are unqualified to be trusted on human lives or any other lives.

I trust Boeing because they do fine planes all the time, but but in the case of 737 MAX they failed woefully. They threw safety into the air by rushing the production may be due to competition. With the two crashes at the back of my mind, no matter how the fix, it will be difficult for me to fly in MAX.

I will never fly on this plane!!!

I’ve flown on these aircraft 50+ times. I was always relieved when finding out it was going to be a max. They are comfortable, quite and every row has a power outlet. I would definitely keep using them. Literally anything is better that the Airbus a320…

Pilot training, not poor design, is more of the issue. Foreign pilots had the problem, not United States airline trained pilots.

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