Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has sought to assure the public of the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX series of aircraft after several countries have grounded the 737 MAX 8 in response to the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane on Sunday, a second crash of the plane in five months.
“Boeing has delivered more than 370 737 MAX airplanes to 47 customers. Since its certification and entry into service, the MAX family has completed hundreds of thousands of flights safely. We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX […],” he said in a message to Boeing employees, a copy of which was available to The Jakarta Post.
He said Boeing was working with regulators and Ethiopian Airlines to investigate the cause of the accident. He also called on the public to focus on the facts and avoid speculation.
“There are still many facts to learn and work to be done. Speculating about the cause of the accident or discussing it without all the necessary facts is not appropriate and could compromise the integrity of the investigation,” Muilenburg said.
He said Boeing expressed sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board. He also said the Boeing teams were fully supporting its customer and the investigation and providing technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the US National Transportation Safety Board and Ethiopian authorities.
“Though many questions remain at this time, we’re committed to understanding all aspects of this accident,” he said, adding that the tragedy was especially challenging coming only months after the loss of Lion Air flight JT610.
“While we concentrate on this serious matter, we’re adjusting plans as appropriate to ensure the right people and resources are available when and where they need to be around the enterprise. Our objective is to ensure our teams are centered on our priorities, including safety, quality and stability.”
Because of the accident, Boeing had also simplified the 777X rollout activities this week and postponed the plane’s external debut scheduled for Tuesday.
“We’re also further strengthening the support to our 737 team and our ongoing production operations and customer service,” he added.