‘This is a crucial time for Boeing,’ new CEO says on first day

Jan 13, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

“This is a crucial time for Boeing.”

Boeing’s new CEO did not mince words as he started in his position Monday.

In an email to all employees, which the company released publicly, David Calhoun acknowledged that Boeing has endured a “painful” period for the last 18 months, and he vowed to work on turning things around in 2020.

In October 2018, one of Boeing’s best-selling 737 MAX jets crashed into the Java Sea, killing all onboard. About five months later, a second MAX crashed shortly after takeoff in Ethiopia. Combined, the two disasters left 346 dead, and resulted in the worldwide grounding of the narrowbody workhorse.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news.

Things have not been going well for Boeing since.

The MAX’s return to service has repeatedly been pushed back as the company struggles to address problems with automated flight control software that has become scrutinized in both crashes. Regulators have pushed Boeing to be more transparent, even as a steady drip of information suggested the company was not entirely forthcoming about the extent of the problems with the system, and how difficult it was to fix.

Last Tuesday, the manufacturer reversed its long-held position that MAX pilots should not need simulator training if they were already certified to fly previous versions of the 737. If its new recommendation in favor of simulator training is adopted by regulators, the jet’s return to service could be further slowed even once it’s cleared to fly as airlines scramble to re-certify pilots with a limited number of simulators available globally.

And last Thursday, unfiltered internal communications were made public. The messages showed the extent to which Boeing originally tried to dissuade airlines and regulators from requiring expensive, time-consuming simulator training for MAX pilots. The communications also included exchanges from employees that voiced skepticism regarding the MAX’s safety as well as flippant exchanges about its design and certification process.

Related: Southwest CEO remains confident in Boeing 737 MAX

In his email, Calhoun said that a safe return to service for the MAX would be Boeing’s top priority this year, after which, the company can start working to rebuild the trust he acknowledged it’s lost with passengers, airlines, regulators and other stakeholders as a result of the debacle.

“My sleeves are rolled up,” his message concluded. “I know yours are, too.”

Featured photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$150
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.