Addis Ababa June 18/2019 Boeing executives have apologized yesterday to Ethiopian and Indonesian airlines and the families of those who died in two recent crashes involving its new 737 Max 8 aircraft.
The U.S. plane manufacturer has been in trouble since the separate crashes the two countries and the subsequent grounding of all Max aircraft worldwide.
“We are very sorry for the loss of lives,” president and CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft, Kevin McAllister, said at a press conference at the industry-wide Paris Air Show.
According to ABC News, McAllister also apologized “for the disruption” to airlines and passengers as a result.
A Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines went down in clear weather on March 10, just minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia’s capital. All 157 people on board died.
Another 737 Max 8, operated by Lion Air, crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29 shortly after liftoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
ABC News reported that though investigations into what caused the crashes are still ongoing, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has acknowledged that the jet’s automatic flight control system played a role in both incidents.
Speaking before the Paris Air Show, Muilenburg told reporters that Boeing engineers learned in 2017 that a warning light in the cockpit of its top-selling Max,designed to alert pilots when the two angle-of-attack sensors disagreed, didn’t work as intended.
Muilenburg was quoted as saying it was “unacceptable” the company was not more transparent with aviation authorities and the global traveling public.
Boeing executives also expressed confidence that software improvements will ensure such tragic accidents never happen again, but wouldn’t speculate on when the aircraft could return to the skies.