Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX: Current Situation

Photo: Boeing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Global concerns are growing about the safety of Boeing 737 MAX. It seems that US planemaker is having a torrid time. Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crash that killed 189 people followed by the recent Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 fatal accident that took lives of 157 fliers have greatly reduced reliability of the Boeing most promising commercial aircraft program.

On Monday, 11 March, 2019, Boeing shares fell 5 %. However, it did not stop here. After regulatory authorities of a number of countries as well as regions (China, Singapore, India, Australia, Ethiopia, the UK and the EU) suspended Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 operations to/out and within their airspace, Boeing’s stock fell sharply for a second straight day on 12 March, 2019. On Tuesday the stock fell 6%. In total, 11% drop over two days.

Financial Times reported that such drastic drops could even leave Boeing “at risk of posting the heaviest fall since the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks”.

Countries that suspended operations of Boeing 737 MAX

Which Airlines are Still Flying 737 MAX?

Before the fatal crash of the ET-302 flight on 10 March, 2019, and through February 2019, there were 376 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft delivered to customers worldwide, 59 airlines operating these planes and 5,012 737 MAX on the order list. As for now, over the half of the global 737 MAX fleet is grounded.

As for now, approximately 115 planes are still flying. Almost two thirds are operated by the US airlines which see the aircraft safe to carry on operations. The US Federal Aviation Administration released a statement saying its “review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no  basis to order grounding the aircraft“.

Boeing 737 MAX currently in operation / Flightradar24

Canada also is not grounding the MAX planes. So, in fact among the major airlines that fly Boeing 737 MAX today are: American Airlines, Air Canada, Southwest Airlines, WestJet Airlines and United. Some smaller airlines also continue flying US-manufactured aircraft.

Boeing: 737 MAX Aircraft is Safe to Fly

In the light of a number of countries and airlines grounding 737 MAX fleet, on 12 March, 2019, Boeing reacted to the situation and released a statement:

”Safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.

We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators”.