On April 15, 2019, the United States president Donald Trump took to Twitter to offer Boeing some advice regarding the ongoing 737 MAX crisis. The president urged the manufacturer to upgrade the planes, install new features before rebranding the now-notorious planes.
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
The advice comes after Boeing CEO expressed “the immense gravity” that the company felt regarding Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 crashes.
“At Boeing we understand that lives literally depend on the work we do, and that requires the utmost excellence and integrity in how we do that work,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said at the George W. Bush Presidential Center Forum on April 11, 2019. “We consider our Boeing enduring values of quality, safety and integrity, among others, integral to our work, especially in difficult times like those that we face now”.
Boeing is currently working on a 737 MAX software update, which should see, as the company calls it, multiple layers of protection added. 737 MAX planes with updated software have made 96 test flights, accumulating “a little over” 159 hours of air time as of April 11, according to Muilenburg.
Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority has published a preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crash on April 4, 2019, deeming that angle of attack (AoA) sensor malfunction had a role in the tragedy. The authority recommended the manufacturer to review 737 MAX flight control systems and advise aviation authorities to review if Boeing “adequately” addresses the question.
To that, Boeing has responded with a video address by Muilenburg, who acknowledged investigators’ findings that it faulty angle of attack sensor input activated Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), but retained that multiple reasons played a role in Flight 302 crash.
Meanwhile, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) have reportedly extended 737 MAX flights cancellations for an additional month. At the beginning of April, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) expected its fleet of 24 MAXs to remain on the ground until the beginning of June, translating into 90 canceled flights per day. But now it seems the planes will not return to service until August 19, 2019, Reuters reports, also providing an estimation that approximately 1.5% of the carrier’s daily summer schedule or 115 flights per day would be cut.