Last October, 189 people died on a Lion Air plane crash over the Java Sea, minutes into the flight. Last March, another 157 people killed on an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash while on its way to Nairobi, Kenya. The link between the two plane crashes? Both used Boeing’s new 737 Max 8 planes.
Boeing is ready to take the next step as they move forward from the tragedy that caused the lives of 346 individuals following the malfunctions of their new 737 Max 8 planes. However, the rest of the world share the same sentiments.
People who have lost their loved ones to the deadly plane incidents – airline companies, and the government are all coming after the airplane manufacturer demanding answers, compensation, and even justice for the toll it has caused unto the lives of the people who were left behind.
Boeing’s in a tight spot as their problems are accumulating more profusely during a sensitive time when they just presented the changes that they have started implementing to the FAA in accordance to the identified issues that may have led to the October and March crashes.
Tomorrow the Federal Aviation Authority is set to present updates regarding changes in Boeing’s safety and technical features on their 737 Max 8 plane crafts during an aviation summit in Texas that will involve 57 agencies from 33 countries, including China, France, Germany and the UK, as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
However, their consistent public neglect of the issue cannot just be forgotten as they still have to publicly address the issues revolving around the cause of the unfortunate incidents. Moreover, Boeing must be held accountable for the lives lost and lives affected by the accidents.
A French woman, May 20, filed a U.S. lawsuit against Boeing for the loss of his husband in the Ethiopian Airlines crash along with a dozen or more family members who also lost their loved ones in the crash and about another dozen more from the Lion Air crash.
Nadege Dubois-Seex, the French woman who lost her husband, Jonathan Seex, a Swedish and Kenyan citizen and chief executive of the Tamarind Group of Companies, filed in a U.S. District Court in Chicago and is demanding for compensation from Boeing amounting to $276 million.
“The life of my husband was taken knowingly, and even willingly,” Dubois-Seex said in a press conference. “Boeing acted with cynicism. My husband was the collateral damage of a system, of a business strategy.”
A new system called MCAS was installed in Boeing’s 737 Max as part of the new fuel-efficient plane craft. Reportedly, this was supposed to rival the fuel-efficient plane that Airbus was planning to release.
The complaint alleges Boeing for failing to inform pilots properly about MCAS, which automatically lowered the plane’s nose in order to decrease stalling. However, it caused the plane to dip and ultimately crash because the pilots were unaware of how to handle the situation.
“We have learned that Boeing relied on a single sensor that had been previously flagged in over 200 incident reports submitted to the FAA,” U.S. attorney Nomaan Husain said during a press conference in Paris.
Explaining how he arrived at that sum, Husain added: “In 2018, Boeing grossed $101 billion. When you take that figure and divide it by 365, you arrive at the figure of $276 million.”
“Is one day’s worth of gross receipts by Boeing severe enough to deter future behavior? Or is it one week’s worth of wages, or one month, or one year? That’s going to be for the jury to decide.”
On the other hand, airline companies from all over the world have also demanded compensation from Boeing after regulators ordered all the 737 Max planes grounded after the second crash.
Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Ryanair and Flydubai have requested compensation but the most notable is the major airline companies from China: Air China, China Southern, and China Eastern.
China has the most number of 737 Max planes in the world. Moreover, in lieu of the circumstance, they were the first to ground the planes as a precaution to passenger safety and welfare.
“China has grounded 96 aircraft, which is about 4 percent of its airplanes. The grounding causes huge losses for Chinese airlines,” China aviation expert Li Xiaojin told Reuters.
Daily losses are likely to be at least 100,000 yuan ($14,469.90) per aircraft for each airline, Li estimated.
“The potential costs are huge too. Slower growth in passenger volume across China’s major airports for March and April was largely due to the grounding of 737 MAX jets, according to my calculations,” Li said.
Moreover, this also comes at a time when US-China relations are at a heated relationship with the on-going trade war and higher tariffs being placed against one another.
It is unclear that Boeing will have its 737 Max planes up in the air for the summer travel peak season but we’re guessing that it would be most unlikely.