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.
European aerospace behemoth Airbus has announced it will stop building its A380 superjumbo jet after the plane’s biggest customer, Dubai-based Emirates Airline, cut its order by 39 planes. After a stronger than expected start, Airbus struggled to sell the $446 million plane that can seat more than 800 passengers — the largest and most expensive commercial passenger aircraft ever made, and the first to have two full decks. Most airlines preferred smaller aircraft that were more economical to operate.
China, Indonesia, and Ethiopia grounded their Boeing 737 MAX-8 fleets on Monday while investigators found the black box from a crash that killed 157 people in the second disaster involving that airplane model in six months. India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also said it is reviewing safety issues related to Boeing’s 737 MAX-8 aircraft operating in the country. The 737 line is the world’s best selling modern passenger aircraft and viewed as one of the industry’s most reliable.
Nineteen people were reported ill after an Emirates airplane was quarantined at JFK Airport in New York. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that of the 521 passengers aboard the flight from Dubai, about 100 initially complained of a flu-like illness. Eleven people went to the hospital while others declined treatment.