Boeing has had a rough week. Mere days after the company announced it would halt production of its troubled 737 Max aircraft indefinitely beginning in January amid a storm of safety concerns following two crashes within five months, United Airlines announced it had pulled the planes from its schedule until June. Also, Spirit AeroSystems, which manufactures fuselages for Boeing, said it would stop deliveries to Boeing.
Adding even more insult to the Boeing’s injurious week, the company’s Starliner capsule, on its first test run to the International Space Station, went off course and will miss its target entirely.
The ripple effect of Boeing’s plans to halt production of the 737 Max is hitting the company’s suppliers hard. Spirit has the financial resources to stay afloat until the Max is back in production, but smaller suppliers may not be so lucky, industry analyst Richard Aboulafia told U.S. News & World Report. That could result in a loss of workers, which would, in turn, further impact production progress.
Boing’s 737 Max entered service in 2017 as a fuel-efficient, next-generation aircraft with updated avionics and cabins. On Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air 610 to took a nosedive into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff killing all 189 passengers and crew aboard, despite crews’ attempts to right the aircraft. Less than five months later, on March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plummeted to the ground shortly after takeoff in much the same fashion, killing all 157 aboard. Aviation authorities around the world grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes, and Boeing has come under fire by Congress and family members of crash victims.
Beasley Allen lawyer Mike Andrews, who focuses much of his practice on aviation accident litigation, attended the hearings in support of the family members of victims in the Ethiopian crash. Mike represents many of the family members in their lawsuits against Boeing.