Boeing was on the rebound in 2021. Not only was the airline industry moving back toward pre-pandemic business levels of activities, but the manufacturer also took orders for 185 of its 737 Max as well as other orders and deliveries in the first quarter of the new year. Then on April 9, it asked 16 airlines to ground certain 737 Max jets once again because there may be an electrical problem. This request involves nearly 70 aircraft. The manufacturer requests that the airlines check to ensure that a component in the electrical system was sufficiently fastened.
This occurred after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed off in November 2020 to allow the planes back in the air after 20 months on the ground following crashes in October 2018 in Indonesia and March 2019 in Ethiopia, killing a total of 346 people. The cause for those tragedies was a flawed flight control system. After a lengthy review, the fix was to replace the flight control system and reroute some wiring.
Critics say planes still not safe
The victims’ families argue that the plane is still not safe, nor is the FAA is not doing enough to protect passengers. “Boeing proclaims to be a changed company, but it’s clear their culture is built around cutting corners and putting profits over safety,” Yalena Lopez-Lewis, whose husband, Antoine, died in the crash in Ethiopia, said in a statement on April 9.
Other countries like China have not cleared the plane to again fly in its airspace. Along with the electrical issue that caused the latest grounding, there is also ongoing concern about the flight control computer and engines. Based on this recent development, it appears that families of dead victims and others need to continue to hold Boeing accountable for their planes.