Saturday 20 July 2019

Boeing executives apologise over deadly air crashes

Senior figures at the plane maker addressed recent tragedies in Indonesia and Ethiopia ahead of the Paris Air Show.

A Boeing 737 Max 8 (AP)
A Boeing 737 Max 8 (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Boeing executives have apologised to the families of those who died in two 737 Max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Kevin McAllister, the CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft, told reporters at the Paris Air Show that the firm was “very sorry for the loss of lives” in the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March, both involving Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft.

A total of 346 people were killed.

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Boeing planes on display at a previous Paris Air Show (AP)

Mr McAllister also said he was sorry for the disruption to airlines from the subsequent grounding of all Max planes worldwide, and to their passengers who are planning to travel over the summer.

He stressed that Boeing is working hard to learn from what went wrong, but would not say when the plane could fly again.

Other Boeing executives also stressed the company’s focus on safety and condolences to victims’ families.

Angle-measuring sensors in both planes are known to have malfunctioned, alerting anti-stall software to push the noses of the planes down.

The pilots were unable to take back control of the aircraft in both cases.

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Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg (AP)

Investigations into the malfunctions are under way.

The world’s aviation elite are gathering at the Paris Air Show with safety concerns on many minds after the two 737 Max crashes.

The global economic slowdown and trade tensions between the US and other powers are also weighing on the event at Le Bourget airfield.

Boeing had earlier said the company is heading into the show with “humility” after the crashes.

Its rival Airbus is expecting some big orders despite a slow sales year so far, and is likely to unveil its long-range A320 XLR.

The event will also showcase electric planes, pilotless air taxis and other cutting-edge technology.

PA Media

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