Boeing Co#039s top executive told employees on Monday he was confident in the ...
(Adds comments from Boeing CEO)
By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE, March 11 (Reuters) - Boeing Co’s top executive told employees on Monday he was confident in the safety of the U.S. manufacturer’s top-selling 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft in the wake of two deadly crashes involving the new model of jetliner since October.
An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board and raising questions about the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 model, which entered service in 2017. A Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.
“We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX and in the work of the men and women who design and build it,” Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg told employees in an email seen by Reuters. “Since its certification and entry into service, the MAX family has completed hundreds of thousands of flights safely.”
Muilenburg also said Sunday’s crash was “especially challenging” coming only months after the loss of Lion Air Flight 610.
The 737 MAX is the newest version of Boeing’s best-selling 737 family that has been a fixture of passenger travel for decades and the cash cow of the world’s largest aircraft maker, competing against Airbus SE’s A320neo family of single-aisle jetliners.
In the wake of Sunday’s crash, China ordered its airlines to ground the jet, a move followed by Indonesia and Ethiopia. Other airlines, from North America to the Middle East, kept flying the 737 MAX 8 on Monday after Boeing said it was safe.
Boeing was fully supporting the crash investigation and providing technical assistance under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Ethiopian authorities, Muilenburg said. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle Editing by James Dalgleish)