(Photo credit: Domonic Evaninia – ©iStock.com/EliWilson)
The first half of 2019 has been ugly — to put it mildly — for Boeing and its 737 MAX.
Two MAXes crashed (one in October, the other in March), both killing everyone on board. Software issues were blamed, despite warnings from pilots. Governments around the world ordered the planes grounded. Even ferry flights parking the planes were fraught with problems.
Grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft fleet of Southwest Airlines in storage are seen at Victorville, CA, on May 4, 2019.
(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/RobertMichaud)
Initial reports suggested software fixes would be in place for June test flights. Then came news that the planes wouldn’t be ready until August.
And last week came another update: a “runaway stabilizer condition” (which sounds rather important) crept up. Don’t be surprised to see the MAX fly before April 2020.
In fact, there’s an extensive Wikipedia page devoted solely to the 737 MAX groundings.
Boeing’s stock has dropped 11% since March after airlines canceled orders.
Could shelving the 737 MAX and evolving it into a new airplane project all together be Boeing’s best option?
Introducing the All-New Not Boeing 737 MAX?
When (or if) the plane is cleared for takeoff and airlines resume those flights, I imagine the words “737 MAX” will strike fear in the heart of passengers who find themselves on those aircraft. (No need to worry, Delta flyers: the mothership does not fly the 737 MAX.) Even if it were independently deemed the safest aircraft on the planet, there would always be a lingering anxiousness amongst passengers.
USA Today writes that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg “has been on a worldwide tour to let airline officials know about the improvements being made to (the) aircraft.”
The 737 MAX will (hopefully) be a much safer aircraft than previously. In fact, I bet we hear someone — a Boeing rep, a pilot, etc — say, “It’s a whole new airplane!”
(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/AVZimovskoy)
So would the aircraft giant be better off saying, Hey, we learned from the 737 MAX and built a better, safer, more advanced airplane. And we call it…”?
Or should they stick to the “737 MAX” moniker?
What Do You Think?
Keep the name “737 MAX” or rebrand the plane altogether? And if Boeing decides to cannibalize the MAX into a “new” plane, what should the aircraft be called?
Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below! — Chris