Business World

Sunday 18 August 2019

Trump advises Boeing to rebrand troubled 737 MAX

Grounded: American Airlines has cancelled hundreds of Boeing 737 MAX flights
Grounded: American Airlines has cancelled hundreds of Boeing 737 MAX flights

Susan Heavey

US President Donald Trump has urged Boeing to fix and "rebrand" its troubled 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes even as US regulators continued to work with the planemaker and airlines over the grounded aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration has met representatives from American Airlines Group, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines over the next steps after more than 300 Boeing 737 MAXs were grounded worldwide.

FAA officials have also convened a joint review with aviation regulators from other countries, while federal prosecutors, the US Department of Transportation inspector general's office and a blue-ribbon panel are reviewing the plane's certification.

In an early-morning post on Twitter, Mr Trump, who owned the Trump Shuttle airline from 1989 to 1992 and is an aviation enthusiast, weighed in with advice.

"What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name. No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?"

The plane's grounding has also threatened the US summer travel season, with some airlines removing the 737 from their schedules through August and cancelling flights.

American Airlines is cancelling 115 flights a day through mid-August. The cancellations represent 1.5pc of its total flights each day of summer.

The US grounded the 737 Max plane in mid-March after two deadly plane crashes, involving Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia's Lion Air.

Boeing aims to finish fixing the planes in late April, and changes would have to be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration and foreign regulators for approval.

American has 24 Max jets and says by extending cancellations through the summer it can plan more reliably for the peak season. It says it will work with customers to manage their travel plans.

Reuters/AP

Irish Independent

Also in Business