President Trump and the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) issued an emergency grounding order for Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 as well as the newer 737 MAX 9 after receiving new data and evidence related to the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Financial Times, Le Parisien, USA Today, Law360, The Independent, CCN and WFAA Dallas spoke with Managing Partner Mike Slack to discuss why a call for grounding all models took so long, and what the repercussions might be for Boeing.
Slack pointed out that the ban is temporary and could be lifted, depending on what the Ethiopian investigation reveals and the depth of further evaluation of the airworthiness of the MAX 8. “The Federal Aviation Administration has always been slow to react as an agency,” said Slack in his interview with Financial Times. “But now we have got to this strange situation where we don’t know who is in charge of aviation regulation in the US. Is it the White House or the FAA?”
In his interview with USA Today, Slack also mentioned that Trump had little choice but to ground the planes. Allowing the planes to fly would have gambled jobs – and American lives – and raised questions for the administration and Boeing. He added, “Is this about protecting Boeing competitively against Airbus, its primary competitor? And why would Boeing’s CEO be calling the president of the United States? That’s not good form when the background story is already that the FAA is not acting.”
In the Law360 article, Slack discussed some of the legal ramifications Boeing may expect. “At this time, we don’t know what the repercussions will be until the investigation. There may be serious implications for Boeing and the airlines if the grounding lasts for a while. Oftentimes, there isn’t litigation between manufacturers and the airlines. They can work it out by negotiating future orders. For example, Boeing may attempt to work it out by repricing an order for future deliveries,” he said.
Read the USA Today article here.
Read the CCN article here.
Read The Independent article here.
Read the Financial Times article here.
Read the Le Parisien article here.