NEW YORK – On Sept. 12, Boeing started putting out 30-second videos in which employees tout its planes’ safety, hoping to reassure travelers about the 737 MAX that’s been grounded worldwide since two crashes that killed 346 people.
“Safety is at the core of our business. We have put hundreds of engineers to work to ensure that this airplane is 100 percent ready,” says Jennifer Henderson, chief test pilot for the 737, in one of the clips.
“When the 737 MAX returns to service I will absolutely put my family on this airplane,” she stressed.
But on a Facebook page for Boeing enthusiasts where the clip was posted, the response is negative.
“Well, I think she could not say it would be unsafe,” one member quipped, as Boeing faces the Herculean task of trying to regain the confidence of civil aviation authorities and the public, seven months after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines MAX that killed 157 people.
That came after the downing of a Lion Air MAX in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189, with the plane’s MCAS anti-stall system being blamed in both accidents.
It’s not known when the MAX will return to service. Boeing, which still has not submitted a modified version of the MCAS system to regulators, hopes it will be before the end of the year.
“The 737 Max is, for now, an ‘airplane non grata’ – plane passengers do not want to fly,” said Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group in San Francisco.
“Travelers aren’t merely scared of the 737 MAX, they’re terrified of it,” he added. (AFP)