Category: Boeing

Letter from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to Airlines, Passengers and the Aviation Community

Provided by Boeing/CNW

CHICAGO, March 18, 2019 /CNW/ —

We know lives depend on the work we do, and our teams embrace that responsibility with a deep sense of commitment every day. Our purpose at Boeing is to bring family, friends and loved ones together with our commercial airplanes—safely. The tragic losses of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 affect us all, uniting people and nations in shared grief for all those in mourning. Our hearts are heavy, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board.

Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg recorded a video message from Boeing Headquarters in Chicago on March 18, 2019, to address airlines, passengers and the aviation community.
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg recorded a video message from Boeing Headquarters in Chicago on March 18, 2019, to address airlines, passengers and the aviation community.

Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone. This overarching focus on safety spans and binds together our entire global aerospace industry and communities. We’re united with our airline customers, international regulators and government authorities in our efforts to support the most recent investigation, understand the facts of what happened and help prevent future tragedies. Based on facts from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident and emerging data as it becomes available from the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, we’re taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX. We also understand and regret the challenges for our customers and the flying public caused by the fleet’s grounding.

Work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident and understand the information from the airplane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Our team is on-site with investigators to support the investigation and provide technical expertise. The Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau will determine when and how it’s appropriate to release additional details.

Boeing has been in the business of aviation safety for more than 100 years, and we’ll continue providing the best products, training and support to our global airline customers and pilots. This is an ongoing and relentless commitment to make safe airplanes even safer. Soon we’ll release a software update and related pilot training for the 737 MAX that will address concerns discovered in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 accident. We’ve been working in full cooperation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board on all issues relating to both the Lion Air and the Ethiopian Airlines accidents since the Lion Air accident occurred in October last year.

Our entire team is devoted to the quality and safety of the aircraft we design, produce and support. I’ve dedicated my entire career to Boeing, working shoulder to shoulder with our amazing people and customers for more than three decades, and I personally share their deep sense of commitment. Recently, I spent time with our team members at our 737 production facility in Renton, Wash., and once again saw firsthand the pride our people feel in their work and the pain we’re all experiencing in light of these tragedies. The importance of our work demands the utmost integrity and excellence—that’s what I see in our team, and we’ll never rest in pursuit of it.  

Our mission is to connect people and nations, protect freedom, explore our world and the vastness of space, and inspire the next generation of aerospace dreamers and doers—and we’ll fulfill that mission only by upholding and living our values. That’s what safety means to us. Together, we’ll keep working to earn and keep the trust people have placed in Boeing.

Dennis Muilenburg
Chairman, President and CEO
The Boeing Company 

SOURCE Boeing

WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance in light of Boeing 737 MAX grounding

Provided by WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership/CNW

CALGARY, March 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Today WestJet announced that following Transport Canada’s safety notice closing Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until further notice, the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary grounding order and Boeing’s decision to suspend all MAX deliveries to airline customers, it is suspending all 2019 financial guidance provided on December 4, 2018 and February 5, 2019. The financial guidance provided with respect to earnings per share (EPS), return on invested capital (ROIC) and cumulative free-cash flow over the period of 2020-2022 remains in place until further information is known.

Through proactive planning and preparation for a variety of scenarios, including grounding, WestJet enacted its contingency plan immediately and grounded all thirteen of its MAX aircraft within 55 minutes of Transport Canada’s order with only three MAX aircraft outside of its Canadian jurisdiction. WestJet continues to implement and execute its contingency plan to minimize guest disruption and any financial impact. For the remainder of the first quarter WestJet expects it will be able to protect approximately 86 per cent of guests booked on MAX flights and cover approximately 75 per cent of the flights that were intended to operate on the MAX with other aircraft.

Airlines shift planes to get March Break travellers home amid Max 8 grounding

News provided by CityNews1130.com/The Canadian Press

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS | Posted Mar 17, 2019 1:08 pm PDT | Last Updated Mar 17, 2019 at 2:24 pm PDT

An Air Canada Boeing 737 Max aircraft arriving from Toronto prepares to land at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO — Two Canadian airlines dealing with the grounding of Boeing Max 8 jets say they have re-assigned other planes to accommodate travellers returning home from March Break vacations.

Both Air Canada and WestJet say they shifted planes to focus on north-south routes as travellers return from vacations in Mexico and the Caribbean.

The airlines say the loss of the Boeing jets still caused the cancellation of a number of domestic flights over the weekend, as well as delays on customer support lines.

West Jet says the changes resulted in the cancellation of 14 flights today affecting approximately 1,600 passengers, with the majority re-booked on flights today or tomorrow.

Air Canada did not say how many of its flights had been cancelled but acknowledged “capacity challenges” on domestic flights where some customers were delayed.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau grounded the planes on Wednesday as a precautionary move, three days after the Ethiopian Airlines disaster that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

Air Canada has 24 Max 8s and WestJet has 13 — six per cent and seven per cent of their fleets of 400 and 175 aircraft, respectively.

Air Canada’s service line inundated with calls as grounding of Boeing 737 Max snarls travel

News provided by The Globe and Mail

CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, MONTREAL, THE CANADIAN PRESS
PUBLISHED MARCH 14, 2019

An Air Canada Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft taxis to a runway at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on March 12, 2019.DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada’s largest airline was inundated with calls as travellers scrambled to rebook flights after Ottawa joined dozens of countries in grounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft Wednesday.

Calls to Air Canada’s customer service line Wednesday and Thursday prompted a recording that said call volume has temporarily exceeded the company’s capacity to answer or even place callers on hold.

The message cites “unforeseen circumstances,” and directs callers to Air Canada’s website.

Kimberly Yetman Dawson, visiting family in Ontario, said she booked a second return flight to Halifax this Saturday at double the cost due to confusion over whether her original trip — scheduled initially on a Max 8 — would go ahead.

“I’m hoping that I’ll be compensated or I’ll be credited,” she said. “It’s a schlimazel. It’s up in the air.”

The logjam prompted Air Canada to set up a service line for Max 8 passengers flying in the next 72 hours: 1-833-354-5963.

Air Canada said it will waive cancellation charges and rebooking fees for Max 8 flights within three weeks of the original travel date.

The Montreal-based company has 24 Max 8s that carry between 9,000 and 12,000 passengers daily. The jets fly popular routes including Vancouver-Calgary and Montreal-Los Angeles as well as to Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii, causing headaches for thousands of March break vacationers and travel agents.

Maninder Singh, the owner of InterSky travel agency in Montreal, said the ban will cost him cash as he refunds passengers whose flights have been cancelled.

“Obviously we lose our markup,” he said. “We have to call every single 1/8 Max 83/8 customer and check for alternate dates.”

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the decision to ground the planes was a precautionary move made after a review of the available evidence in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines disaster Sunday that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

WestJet Airlines Ltd., which has 13 Max 8s that fly to destinations in Florida and elsewhere, said 11 domestic flights were cancelled Thursday, impacting 1,200 passengers.

More than three-quarters of those travellers would be rebooked on flights Thursday, with the remainder departing Friday or Saturday, the airline said.

The Calgary-based company has a no-fee cancellation policy for Max 8 flights, though rebooked flights may cost more.

Both airlines say customers will not be compensated for accommodations.

“The first 72 hours is a major shock,” said Mark Gallardo, vice-president of network planning at Air Canada.

“As time progresses we’re going to have a lot more recovery options.”

The airline hopes to hang on to several Embraer E-90 and Airbus A320 planes that were slated to exit the fleet this month, Gallardo said. Slashing the number of flights and swapping in bigger planes and reserve crews is another strategy, along with rerouting passengers through other airlines, but the options all come at a cost.

More than 40 countries, including the U.S., China and all European Union states, have now grounded or banned the Max 8 from their airspace over safety concerns and possible parallels to an Oct. 29 incident which saw the same type of aircraft plunge into the Java Sea, killing 189 people.

Mary Jane Hiebert, who chairs the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, said the virtual blanket ban on the more than 375 Max 8s in service across the world will snarl up the global flight grid.

“There are connecting flights, there are alliance partners. So you take an Air Canada plane to a certain destination, you get on a Max 8 with United Airlines or another carrier — except you can’t now.”

Pilots, flight attendants and mechanics are trained to work on specific types of aircraft, which could make staffing and maintaining the replacement aircraft more difficult, Hiebert said.

Andrea Carr-McNeill, director of marketing with The Travel Store in Charlottetown, said the travel agency has been inundated with customer calls over the past 24 hours.

“We’ve got six offices in the Maritimes and we’ve stopped counting; there’s been that many,” she said.

“Patience is a virtue that every one of us needs to have right now.”

Canada and U.S. reverse course, ground Boeing 737 Max 8 after Ethiopian Airlines crash

News provided by The Globe and Mail

ERIC ATKINS TRANSPORTATION REPORTER
ADRIAN MORROW U.S. CORRESPONDENT
PUBLISHED MARCH 13, 2019

Canada and the United States have joined dozens of countries in grounding the Boeing 737 Max passenger jet after two fatal crashes of the plane in five months.

Marc Garneau, Transport Minister, said he made the move after seeing satellite tracking data on the final moments of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday, killing 157 people, including 18 Canadians.

The safety notice bars the flight of the 737 Max 8 and 9 models “into, out of, or across Canada,” Mr. Garneau said at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday afternoon that he has spoken with government and Boeing officials about the decision to issue and emergency order to ground the U.S.-made planes. “They are all in agreement with the action,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “Planes that are in the air … will be grounded upon landing at the destination.”

Mr. Trump said the U.S. government had received “new information and physical evidence” both from the crash site and other places, as well as “a couple of other complaints,” which led to the decision.

He said he had spoken with the airlines, as well as the CEO of Boeing and they were all in agreement with the decision.

“It’s a terrible, terrible thing. Boeing is an incredible company. They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they’ll very quickly come up with the answer, but until they do, the planes are grounded,” he said. “The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern.”

Mr. Trump said the American and Canadian groundings were coordinated. “What we’re doing, it almost has a simultaneous – we were coordinating with Canada,” he said. “We were giving them information, they were giving us information. We very much worked in conjunction with Canada.”

The Canadian decision to restrict the narrow-body aircraft is expected to bring headaches for Canada’s major airlines and their passengers.

Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. said in statements on Wednesday they will comply with the minister’s notice, but warned customers should expect delays rebooking on other planes.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which has 32 member countries, China, the U.K., and India grounded the plane earlier this week and, in most cases, barred it from entering their airspace.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday and a Lion Air 737 Max jet that crashed in October, killing 189, both exhibited similar flight patterns before crashing, Mr. Garneau said, indicating there are possible problems with the automatic features of the planes’ controls.

Pilots of both planes had to correct their planes’ trajectories repeatedly after the automatic control systems aimed the nose downward.

“My experts have looked at this and compared it to the [flight path of] Lion Air in October and there are similarities that exceed a certain threshold in our minds with respect to the possible cause of what happened in Ethiopia,” Mr. Garneau said, adding the information is not conclusive and needs to be confirmed by the flight recorder data.

Both crashes are under investigation.

Mr. Garneau said deaths of Canadians, including six members of a family from Brampton, Ont., made the tragedy a personal one for many people. “It has something that has viscerally caught the attention of Canadians,” he said.

The U.S. President did not elaborate on what information the U.S. had received.

Five complaints from American pilots in a federal database, first uncovered by the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday, revealed apparent problems controlling the aircraft. Pilots complained that the Max 8’s autopilot system had unexpectedly pushed planes into a dive and failed to provide enough thrust, requiring crews to take control manually.

Air Canada said its 24 737 Max aircraft fly 9,000 to 12,000 passengers a day. WestJet flies 13 737 Max planes, and will book passengers on its 162 other aircraft.

“This decision has an impact on the travel plans of our WestJet guests and we ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible,” said Ed Sims, WestJet chief executive officer.

On Tuesday, Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines Inc. said it has “suspended” flights of its four Max 8 jets due to “evolving commercial reasons,” joining dozens of airlines and countries in halting the use of the new planes amid safety concerns.

The Air Canada Pilots Association said it supports the minister’s move. “Decisions such as the one taken today are difficult to make, but ultimately important to ensure continued public confidence in aviation,” the union said in a statement.

Though there is no evidence the two crashes are linked, the disasters have spooked passengers and have led to the grounding of most of Boeing’s 737 Max fleet, hammering shares in the world’s biggest plane maker.

Since the Indonesia crash, an automated anti-stall system that dips the aircraft’s nose down has been the focus of attention.

Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw told Reuters it was still unclear what happened Sunday but said the pilot had reported control issues – as opposed to external factors such as birds.

With files from Reuters

Air Canada flight attendants welcome the decision to close the Canadian air space to Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes

Provided by Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)/CNW

TORONTO, March 13, 2019 /CNW/ – The union representing Air Canada’s flight attendants welcomes Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s decision to close the Canadian air space to Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes.

“In light of the new data received by the federal government, we welcome the Minister’s decision to err on the side of prudence until the analysis of the causes of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash is completed,” sayd the president of the Air Canada Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Wesley Lesosky.

The Air Canada Component of CUPE represents more than 8,500 flight attendants at Air Canada mainline and Rouge.

SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Air Canada Responds to Transport Canada’s Closure of Canadian Airspace to the Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

Provided by Air Canada

MONTREAL, March 13, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada confirmed today that it will comply immediately with Transport Canada’s safety notice closing Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations until further notice.

Air Canada’s cancellation and rebooking policies are in place with full fee waiver for affected customers. We are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible but given the magnitude of our 737 MAX operations which on average carry nine to twelve thousand customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada call centres and we appreciate our customers’ patience.

Customers are further advised to check the status of their flight on aircanada.com prior to going to the airport.

We fully support this decision and will continue to work with Transport Canada towards resolution of this situation as soon as possible.

WestJet complies with Transport Canada decision to ground Boeing MAX fleet

Provided by WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

CALGARY, March 13, 2019 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced that it is complying with Transport Canada’s decision to temporarily ground the Boeing 737 MAX fleet. The announcement was made by Transport Minister Marc Garneau this morning in Ottawa.

From WESTJET.com

“We respect the decision made by Transport Canada and are in the process of grounding the 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “This decision has an impact on the travel plans of our WestJet guests and we ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible.”

WestJet has 162 aircraft or more than 92 per cent of its overall fleet that remain in service. Guests can book with confidence knowing that WestJet continues to fly throughout the network with the safety of guests and employees at the forefront.

WestJet is contacting impacted guests to arrange for alternate travel plans.

Canada orders grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8s over safety concerns

News provided by CityNews1130.com

BY HANA MAE NASSAR Posted Mar 13, 2019 8:53 am PDT Last Updated Mar 13, 2019 at 9:05 am PDT

Transport Minister Marc Garneau answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada has now moved to ban the use of Boeing 737 Max 8s.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says a safety notice has been issued, meaning the new type of aircraft is now banned from flying in or above Canada. A Boeing 737 Max 8 plane was involved in the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that left 157 people dead, including 18 Canadians.

Garneau says the decision was made after new information about Sunday’s crash was received Wednesday morning.

“The new information, and I hasten to say this is new information that we received and analyzed this morning, comes from validated satellite tracking data suggesting a possible, although unproven, similarity in the flight profile of the Lion Air aircraft,” the minister said. “I caution that this new information is not conclusive, and that we must await further evidence, hopefully, from the voice and data recorders.”

Garneau adds it’s still too soon to speculate about the exact cause of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.

The safety notice takes effect immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice.

India and New Zealand join Max suspension

News provided by FlightGlobal.com

13 March 2019 By Mavid Toh, Singapore FlightGlobal.com

India and New Zealand have become the latest countries in Asia Pacific to ban the operation of the Boeing 737 Max over safety concerns.

In two tweets in the early hours of 13 March, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation says it has taken the decision to ground the Max “immediately”. The country has 17 of the type – 12 with SpiceJetand five with Jet Airways.

“These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations,” it says, adding that it will continue to consult with regulators, airlines and aircraft manufacturers globally to ensure passenger safety.

This is an escalation from an earlier directive issued on 11 March, which only required pilots in command of the Max to have logged a minimum of 1,000 hours and co-pilots 500 hours on the 737NG. The flight crew must also have undergone the necessary training.

It had also mandated that the engineering and maintenance teams to not release the minimum equipment list for aircraft when the dual autopilot and yaw damper systems are not functioning, and when there are faults with the spoiler system.

Checks must also be done on the autopilot system and the stall management and yaw damper system during extended transit inspection, for stored maintenance messages. The angle of attack sensor must also be checked.

Jet Airways says that its 737 Max 8s had been grounded before the ministry’s orders were issued, likely due to its ongoing financial difficulties.

New Zealand meanwhile has suspended the operation of the Max into and out of the country, which will only affect Fiji Airways‘ flights.

“The decision to suspend operations by the aircraft follows recent discussions with other aviation authorities, including the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which have responsibility for oversight of the design of the aircraft,” says the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.

“The CAA’s assessment has taken into consideration the level of uncertainty regarding the cause of the recent Ethiopian Airlinesaccident plus its review of the aircraft design.”

In South Korea, Eastar Jet, the only operator of the Max there, has voluntarily grounded its two aircraft in the interest of safety.

While aviation regulators and airlines around the world have grounded the Max, the FAA has maintained that it sees “no basis” to order a grounding. The USA remains the prominent outlier among a handful of countries that have not suspended operations with the aircraft after the fatal crash of ET302 on 10 March.