Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Tuesday it would cut its 787 production rate as it works through a new production-related structural defect in its troubled twin-aisle airliner program. The company now forecasts delivering fewer than half of the lingering 100 or so 787s in its inventory this year – instead of the “vast majority” it had expected – as it continues forensic inspections and costly repairs to address quality flaws in the aircraft.
One of the fan blades in the plane engine that failed shortly after take-off in Denver showed signs of metal fatigue, investigators say. Flight 328 was able to make an emergency landing at Denver airport on Saturday, but parts of the engine fell on homes. No-one was hurt. Boeing has recommended grounding all its 777 aircraft with the same engines.
Boeing suspended operations for more than 100 of its aircraft Sunday after an engine on a United Airlines flight from Denver caught fire and fell apart, scattering debris in a Colorado neighborhood before the plane landed safely. The suspensions apply to the model airplane used in Saturday’s flight to Hawaii, the 777 powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines, the company said in a statement.
The Boeing 737 Max could return to European skies by summer once approval for the plane to fly again is granted in the EU next week. It would mark a critical step in its return to service, after the 737 Max was grounded worldwide following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia caused by a faulty sensor, which repeatedly triggered a system that pushed the nose down. A total of 346 people died in the two accidents.
Boeing has been fined $2.5bn by the US justice department after being charged with fraud and conspiracy in connection with two fatal crashes of its 737 Max airliner. The Max was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. A March 2020 congressional investigation concluded that Boeing promoted a “culture of concealment” and was “grossly inefficient” in its oversight of the Max’s development.
Boeing is set to deliver a 737 Max to United on Tuesday, the first delivery of the troubled plane since its grounding almost two years ago. Boeing is sitting on about 450 Max jets it has built since the March 2019 grounding, which followed two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. The US Federal Aviation Administration lifted its grounding of the plane on November 18, though most other aviation authorities around the world have yet to follow suit.
Thousands of travelers were stranded in Bangkok on Thursday when Thai Airways International canceled more than a dozen flights to and from Europe after Pakistan closed its airspace amid rising tensions with India. Thai Airways flights resumed by Thursday afternoon after the airline secured permission to reroute flights over Chinese airspace, but it could take up to three days to clear a backlog of 3,000 passengers, an airline official said.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been compiling a secret list of ‘unruly’ passengers who may pose a threat to TSA staff at airport checkpoints. Actions that pose a physical threat or are described as ‘offensive and without legal justification’ can land a person on the list. The list is being called ‘The 95 List.’
Last year saw a sharp rise in fatalities from air crashes compared with 2017 but 2018 was still the ninth safest year on record, figures show. Airliner accidents killed 556 people last year compared with 44 in 2017, the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) reports. Last year’s worst civilian accident was in October when a Lion Air plane crashed in Indonesia, killing 189. The year 2017 was the safest in history for commercial airlines with no passenger jet crashes recorded.
Airbus has agreed to settle bribery and corruption allegations by UK, US and French authorities in a deal that will cost it €3.6bn. The European aeroplane maker, based in Toulouse, disclosed the scale of the financial hit hours after confirming that it had reached an “agreement in principle” with authorities in each country. The total penalties, due to be finalized on Friday, look set to surpass the £671m settlement by Rolls-Royce over similar claims.