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Business News/ Opinion / Quick Edit/  Opinion | Boeing should give up on its 737 Max
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Opinion | Boeing should give up on its 737 Max

In these circumstances, halting production would make sense. This should not be temporary. The company should simply give up on the model, and go back to the drawing board for an equivalent that doesn’t spook flyers

Workers walk near a Boeing 737 Max airplane. (AP)Premium
Workers walk near a Boeing 737 Max airplane. (AP)

Boeing Co is reportedly mulling what to do with its Boeing 737 Max, a narrow-bodied aircraft that various countries’ aviation regulators have put under the scanner for safety after a couple of crashes drew attention to a suspected flight software bug. The plane’s maker might either cut back or suspend production, says a report. It has been a bestseller, but its reputation now seems hard to salvage, especially after the company admitted that its technology needed to be fixed.

At first, Boeing hoped that the plane could return to service by the end of this year, but that seems unlikely now, given a series of boxes it would need to tick in order to get an okay from the American regulator. In these circumstances, halting production would make sense. This should not be temporary. The company should simply give up on the model, and go back to the drawing board for an equivalent that doesn’t spook flyers. In that, Boeing could go by the example set by Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric (GE). After the 1979 nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in the US, he reproached the top executives of GE’s nuclear reactor division for saying demand would slump. There would be no demand whatsoever, he said, and the business had to wake up and accept that reality.

Back in India, flyer anxiety these days can be traced not to any Boeing plane, but to Airbus 320neo aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines. Without clarity on their safety, one really can’t expect passengers to board these aircraft with the confidence one would usually take for granted.

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Published: 16 Dec 2019, 04:30 PM IST
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