“It is hard not to conclude that his team in the FAA has deliberately tried to keep us in the dark,” Roger Wicker, Republican chairman of the Commerce Committee, told Mr. Dickson. Meanwhile, Senator Maria Cantwell, the committee’s top Democrat, described the agency’s communication and oversight as “fragmented.”
Max’s crisis has dealt a devastating blow to Boeing’s business. In January, the company estimated that the costs associated with grounding will exceed $ 18 billion, but that was before the disastrous spread of the coronavirus. The three airlines in the United States that Max operates – Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines – have canceled thousands of flights in recent months. At Air Canada, some pilots licensed to fly the Max, but not other aircraft in the carrier’s fleet, had to stop flying after grounding.
So far this year, Boeing has seen net orders for the Max decrease by more than 300 jets amid belt adjustment across the industry. In April, Southwest, Boeing’s largest individual customer for the Max, said it had halved the number of planes it would take this year and next, to just 48.
Boeing’s sales, earnings and share price have plummeted in recent months. In Renton, Washington, Boeing continues to produce the Max, albeit at a slower rate. With the planes on the ground, Boeing has been unable to deliver the new planes, and is instead storing them.
Spirit Aerosystems, a key supplier to Boeing, said this month that Boeing had cut an order for fuselage parts, reducing its order to 72 teams from 216 earlier this year. The slowdown in aviation, coupled with a recovery that could take years, has led Boeing to cut approximately 10 percent of its workforce, or around 16,000 jobs worldwide.
“The global pandemic has changed the way we live and work,” Boeing Chief Executive David L. Calhoun said in a note to staff in April. “Our industry is changing. We are facing completely unexpected challenges. ”