Boeing went on to say that they had recently discovered a new safety problem affecting their 737-airliner fleet. Certain safety alerts on its jets weren’t popping up as a result of a previous undisclosed mistake on the part of the company.
Boeing made a statement that suggested Boeing management, engineers, and U.S. air-safety regulators missed or overlooked a number of software design problems when the 737 MAX model was certified two years ago.
The notion that certain, crucial safety alerts wouldn’t function as expected is an extremely worrying sign for a company that’s already dealing with a deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max back in March and a deadline Lion Air crash.
Between the two incidents, over 340 people died and regulators around the world grounded Boeing’s airplanes as they proceeded to look into the issue.
The issue of non-functioning alerts had previously been made aware back in the crash of a Lion Air jet in October in Indonesia, although at the time there was no indication that the mistake came from the plane maker itself.
These alerts offer an extra safety buffer for pilots in the event of a malfunction or if sensors are transmitting erroneous data and have been standard inclusions on earlier models. Many major international airlines assumed that these alerts had been operating normally up until the Lion Air crash in October, which was the first-time regulators began to catch on that there might be some software problems involved.
Just one month after the incident, a number of inspectors shared worries that the main problem that caused these crashes could have come from Boeing itself rather than the pilots, poor weather, or a random technical malfunction. Even worse for the airplane manufacturer, it seems that companies that paid extra for “additional” safety features didn’t have this software problem.
According to internal FAA documents and reported on by The Wall Street Journal, one email distributed to a number of inspectors read “Did Boeing foul up on the MAX by not ensuring” that these alerts would be operational “even if the customer chose not to pay for” those features. While these issues didn’t go public at the time, the resulting scandal has forced Boeing to make the new software a standard on all 737 MAX jets at no additional charge, while ensuring their software remains error free.
Shares of Boeing dropped around 0.36 percent over the course of the day, dipping at first from $380 per share down to below $375, before gaining a bit and ending the day at $377.69 per share. Shares have dropped substantially from their earlier 2019 highs of around $440 per share, which was the highest the company’s stock had reached in its entire history.
Boeing Company Profile
Boeing manufactures commercial airplanes, provides defense equipment, and maintains a small captive finance division. With headquarters in Chicago, the firm competes with Airbus in commercial aviation and with Lockheed, Northrop, and several other firms in defense.
Sales are split about 70% and 30% between the commercial aircraft and defense end markets. In 2018, Boeing generated over $100 billion in sales. – Warrior Trading News