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When MAXs Fly Again, Will Passengers Get on Board?

Boeing Co.’s MAX plane could return to service this summer, yet convincing passengers the plane is safe will be one of the aviation industry’s toughest consumer-relations challenges in decades.

The aircraft has been grounded world-wide since March after two MAX jets crashed within five months of each other. The crashes, and what some carriers and pilots have described as Boeing’s lack of transparency in their aftermath, have undermined confidence in the plane maker.

Industry officials expect U.S. regulators may lift the flying ban for the MAX in June, but it increasingly looks like late summer before the planes start flying passengers again.

Lance White, a 39-year-old radiologist who flies a few times a year, says he has no plans to board the jets once they do.

“I just don’t know there’s anything Boeing could do to re-instill my confidence in this plane,” Mr. White said. The St. Louis resident said he would want to see the jet fly safely for at least five years before he considered boarding one.

Excerpt from the WSJ
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WOW Air Flights Canceled as Budget Airline Collapses

Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air, which specialized in linking cities in the U.S. with European destinations, has collapsed, adding to a string of airlines overseas that have faltered in recent months amid stiff competition and rising costs.

The carrier, founded in 2011, had been trying to steal business from established airlines such as American Airlines Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. It targeted the trans-Atlantic market by offering cheap fares while funneling passengers via its Icelandic hub. It said Thursday it had cancelled all flights, stranding thousands of passengers.

WOW Air served such U.S. destinations as New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston. It had previously announced plans to cut flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Excerpt from WSJ

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Between Two Deadly Crashes, Boeing Moved Haltingly to Make 737 MAX Fixes

In the aftermath of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet crash in Indonesia in October, much of the American aviation industry—the plane maker, the FAA, U.S. airlines and their pilots—closed ranks to reassure the public the model was safe to fly.

Even after evidence emerged implicating a new automated flight-control system in the Indonesia disaster, the industry message was that pilots would be able to overcome glitches by following common emergency steps.

“Our pilots are trained to deal with any of these issues,” United Continental Holdings Inc.Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said at a March 7 aviation event in Washington. “Just fly the darn airplane—that’s what they’re taught.”

Three days later, a 737 MAX flown by United code-share partner Ethiopian Airlines nose-dived into the ground after six minutes aloft, an eerie replay of Indonesia’s Lion Air crash.

 

Excerpt from the WSJ
Read Full story at WSJ.com

U.S., Ethiopian Investigators Tussle Over 737 MAX Crash Probe

Tension is simmering between U.S. and Ethiopian officials as investigators prepare to release in the coming days an interim report about the Boeing Co. 737 MAX jetliner that nose-dived after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, according to people from both countries.

U.S. investigators, according to people familiar with their thinking, have privately complained that Ethiopian authorities have been slow to provide data retrieved from the black-box recorders of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.

American air-safety officials also have described what they view as an aloof attitude among the Ethiopians toward other investigators and say the Ethiopians have provided often limited access to relevant crash information, these people said.

Excerpt from the WSJ
Read Full story at WSJ.com

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