Boeing 737 crash puts spotlight on a culture of errors
Yesterday, a Boeing 737 plane carrying 132 passengers crashed in the southern China region — sending Boeing’s stock down 3.6%.
What’s the big deal? Boeing’s 737 Max jet has had many issues — involved in two deadly crashes within two months of each other and was grounded between Mar. 2019 and Nov. 2020.
But this time, the crash involved a 737-800 — considered as one of the safest aircrafts per Bloomberg.
Culture of errors: Per Washington Post, regulators identified many safety issues with Boeing over the past decade including:
- Subcontractors falsified certifications on Boeing cargo doors for years, while wires were improperly installed.
- Mechanics haphazardly left tools inside plane wings.
Boeing agreed to fix these issues but failed to follow through — not handing in required safety submissions on time or at all.
This led to regulatory oversight, fines and lawsuits costing Boeing billions. Boeing’s massive profits evaporated — turning unprofitable in 2019 after making over $10B in 2018.
Flying up: In December 2021, China approved airlines using the 737 Max — one of the last major markets to resume the plane.
In the second quarter last year, Boeing also reported its first profit since 2019.
- Boeing — down over 40% from its pre-COVID days — is still struggling to maintain a profit during a challenging global environment.
- Several COVID flare ups in 2021 delayed travel plans — and now a war in Ukraine has made jet orders even more uncertain.
Looking forward: An investigation could take months or years — and until a cause is identified, Boeing orders could be impacted.