Boeing's CEO publicly admits mistake in Alaska Airlines incident


Published: 2024-01-10 11:10

Last Updated: 2024-05-25 23:41

Boeing's CEO publicly admits mistake in Alaska Airlines incident
Boeing's CEO publicly admits mistake in Alaska Airlines incident

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has openly admitted that the company made a mistake in connection with the incident involving the mid-air explosion on an Alaska Airlines plane.

He assured employees that Boeing will work closely with regulatory authorities to prevent a recurrence of such incident.

His statements mark the company's first public acknowledgment of an error since the incident last Friday, which resulted in a significant hole in a 737 Max 9 aircraft.

Boeing's stocks dropped by 10 percent this week, falling approximately 1.5 percent at the close of Tuesday's session.

This decline was triggered by United Airlines canceling 225 daily flights, 8 percent of its total, and Alaska canceling 109 flights, or 18 percent. Similar cancellations are expected on Wednesday.

Despite admitting the mistake, Boeing's shares suffered only minor losses in post-closing trading on Wall Street. The stock experienced sharp losses on Monday, losing over 8 percent and causing the company to shed more than USD 13 billion in market value.

Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, the two American carriers using the temporarily grounded model, found dismantled parts in similar aircraft, raising concerns about the possibility of a recurrence of such incidents.

Sources revealed that Boeing informed employees in a separate meeting that finding several loosened screws in the handled aircraft is a "quality control issue," and inspections are ongoing at Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems.

Expanded system check

Boeing has ordered its factories and suppliers to ensure the resolution of such issues and conduct an expanded system check on systems and operations. 

Calhoun, addressing employees, stated, "We will address this matter, first and foremost, by acknowledging our mistake. We will handle it in its entirety and with complete transparency at every step of the way." He assured Boeing's commitment to ensuring the safety of every aircraft flying thereafter.

Calhoun praised the Alaska Airlines crew for their swift response in safely landing the Boeing 737 Max 9 with 171 passengers and six crew members, avoiding serious injuries.

Boeing has faced various production challenges since the complete halt of the 737 Max family in March 2019, which lasted for 20 months, following the crashes in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in the deaths of around 350 people.

Boeing is addressing the recent incident with a commitment to transparency, emphasizing a thorough examination of its systems and procedures to guarantee the safety of all future flights.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The recent incident led the FAA to ground 171 aircraft, resulting in the cancellation of numerous flights.

The exploded panel on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 is located at the optional exit door on Boeing 737 Max 9 planes used by airlines with larger seat capacities.

Despite these challenges, Boeing managed to achieve its aircraft delivery goals, but it concluded 2023 behind its competitor Airbus for the fifth consecutive year, according to Boeing's data and industry sources.

Boeing delivered 528 aircraft, while sources suggest that Airbus will announce the delivery of 735 aircraft for 2023 this week, as reported by Reuters.