Boeing struggles to contain crisis from second 737 Max crash

Boeing struggles to contain crisis from second 737 Max crash

Top U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company said Monday that it is planning to make a safety upgrade to software that is to be deployed across the fleet in the coming weeks.

The statement shows that USA regulators have no immediate intention of grounding the 737 Max 8 after this weekend's crash that killed 157 people near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

However, two fatal crashes in five months are raising serious questions.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the government received new satellite evidence that showed similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines flight and the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people in Indonesia in October.

Air Canada said in a statement that it would comply immediately with the order, and attempt to rebook passengers from the Max jets, which typically have more than 160 seats.

"Guests can book with confidence knowing that we continue to fly throughout the network with the safety of guests and employees at the forefront", it said.

The move came after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday that killed everyone on board, including 18 Canadians, three of them from the Edmonton region.

He said he had spoken with the airlines, as well as the CEO of Boeing and they were all in agreement with the decision. About 2 percent of American's fleet operates on the 737 Max jets and less than 5 percent of Southwest's.

Leaders of the union representing United Airlines pilots, some of whom have flown the airline's 14 Boeing 737 Max 9 jets since last May, said the airline has tracked 23,000 hours of flights and found no performance or mechanical problems.

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Meanwhile, passengers in the US are taking to social media to express their displeasure about potentially flying on Boeing 737 Max planes. Pilots could counteract the sudden downward tilt by flipping two switches and manually holding the aircraft stable, the planemaker said.

A pilot who saw the crash site minutes after the disaster told the AP the plane appeared to have "slid directly into the ground".

India said it would not take any deliveries until safety concerns were cleared and Ethiopian Airlines said it would decide whether to cancel orders after a preliminary probe.

Boeing, not MIT, developed the flight control systems for the 737 MAX.

The FAA missive indicated that Boeing is preparing fixes for anti-stall software that baffled pilots by pitching the Lion Air plane's nose down dozens of times before it crashed in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia.

Boeing's 737 MAX is the newest version of a jet that has been a fixture of passenger travel for decades and the cash cow of the world's largest aircraft maker, competing against Airbus SE's A320neo family of single-aisle jetliners. The biggest impact could be on future deliveries given Boeing has almost 5,000 more 737 MAXs on order.

"They are working very, very hard right now and, hopefully, they'll quickly come up with an answer", Trump said.

That type of airccraft were initially used on the route when it was launched in 2017 before the airline's 737 MAX fleet was delivered. Including regional aircraft, American has more than 1,500 planes, while United has more than 1,300.

"So, if we look at the profile, there are vertical fluctuations, in the vertical profile of the aircraft and there were similarities in what we saw", Garneau said.

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