Passengers avoid B737 Max planes as Boeing stock dips 12%
In the wake of Ethiopian Airlines Boeing737Max aircraft crash on Sunday, more passengers around the world are avoiding the aircraft type like a plague.The new and state-of-the-art Boeing model quickly dropped from bestseller to safety concerns after the second fatal disaster in five months.
Like a steamrolling effect, Boeing’s shares dropped nearly 12 per cent shortly after markets opened a day after the crash. The Dow Jones Industrial Index sharply dropped as a result early Monday, capping gains in the broader markets.The Guardian learnt that besides passengers are telling travel agents not to book them on the aircraft type, many are taking extra measures to figure out the airplane model assigned for a trip.
A message making the rounds on social media advised intending passengers to visit www.checkmytrip.com to confirm the travel details by inserting a booking reference.“You will be able to see the aircraft make and model for your trip,” the message said.
“If it is Boeing 737-800 Max, please ask your agent to change this to another aircraft or possibly another carrier. Please, be wise. Share until this new series is withdrawn by Boeing from our skies,” the message read in part.
A total of 157 persons, among them two Nigerians, died on Sunday when a B737Max aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.The aircraft, with registration ET-AVJ, lost contact with the radar about six minutes after takeoff, en route Nairobi, Kenya. Onboard were 149 passengers and eight crew members.
The Ethiopian Airlines’ tragedy on Sunday, comes after a Lion Air flight went down over the Java Sea in late October, killing all 189 people on board.Airlines in China, Indonesia, and Ethiopia have grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes.
Boeing, however, released a statement shortly after Sunday’s crash expressing its “heartfelt sympathies” to the friends and families of victims.Boeing’s 737 jetliner has been an aviation workhorse since it first took to the skies in 1967, enjoying unparalleled success, while improving its safety record each decade as fatal incidents became increasingly rare across the industry.
The latest Max version extended the 737’s popularity with a welter of orders, but two deadly incidents claiming close to 350 lives in five months have raised questions about the model’s future.
On August 30, 2011, Boeing launched the 737 Max with close to 500 commitments from five customers. The re-engined model is a response to the A320neo from European rival Airbus SE, and while coming to market nine months later, it quickly piles on sales, eventually garnering more than 5,000 orders.
With more than one-third of active B737Max already grounded, about 5,000 orders and Boeing’s entire operations are all on the line.
U.S. aviation regulators, however, signalled their confidence in the safety of Boeing’s embattled 737 Max jetliner, issuing a global notice of “continued airworthiness” a day after the model’s second deadly crash.There isn’t conclusive evidence so far to link the loss of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 on Sunday, and a fatal Lion Air disaster involving the same jet model in October, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Boeing is working on improvements to the plane’s flight-control system, and the FAA plans to publish a related directive to operators no later than April.
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