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The FAA grounded some Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes after a door plug fell from an Alaska Airlines flight. WSJ’s George Downs explores what the accident means for Boeing and whether it can afford another setback. Photo composite: NTSB/George Downs
Boeing BA 1.60%increase; green up pointing triangle was having trouble making enough 737s before the Alaska Airlines door-plug blowout. Now it faces new concerns that added inspections and regulatory scrutiny will sap its output this year.

Key airline customers are inspecting existing 737 MAX 9 planes, while federal air-safety officials are delving into the jet maker’s broader manufacturing processes. They are also examining supplier Spirit AeroSystems SPR 1.03%increase; green up pointing triangle, which produced the plane’s door plug and fuselage.

Several aerospace analysts have lowered their financial forecasts for Boeing following the Jan. 5 accident, which also led to the grounding of 170 MAX 9 jets. How significant the financial impact is will depend, they say, on how long it takes to identify the cause and secure long-awaited certification of other MAX models.

“The pace is clearly going to be affected,” said Michel Merluzeau of AIR, a research company in Seattle. “In the longer term, this puts a lot of pressure on Boeing.”

Excerpt from WSJ
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