Boeing Faces New Crisis with 737 MAX Door Failure - PandaForecast.com
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Boeing Faces New Crisis with 737 MAX Door Failure

January 8, 2024

Alaska Airlines’ Midair Scare

Last weekend, passengers aboard Alaska Airlines flight 1282 experienced a harrowing event shortly after departing Portland International Airport. The flight, aboard a Boeing 737 Max 9, was suddenly rocked by rapid cabin depressurization when a door plug was unexpectedly ejected.

Thankfully, at the altitude of 16,000 feet where they were cruising, and with no passengers nearby, what could have been a disastrous situation was narrowly avoided.

The Aftermath: Boeing 737 MAX Faces Questions

The sudden depressurization has put the spotlight back on the Boeing 737 MAX, particularly its door plug system—a component used to seal off an area where an emergency exit might otherwise be. This design feature, found in Alaska Airlines’ Boeing fleet, is now under the microscope for possible issues with the bolts or the plane’s pressurization mechanism.

In response, the FAA has put a temporary halt on 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes around the world, insisting on thorough inspections before they can take to the skies again. Adding to the drama, the lost door plug ended up in someone’s backyard in Portland, underscoring the seriousness of the incident.

The Financial Fallout: Boeing and Its Supply Chain Take a Hit

Boeing’s investors felt the sting right away as the company’s shares tumbled 9% to $226 in Monday’s premarket trading. Spirit AeroSystems, the company responsible for the door plugs’ production and installation, also took a significant blow with a 20% share value drop to $25.

The spotlight is now trained on the 737 MAX 9, particularly the models with deactivated emergency exits. Dhierin Bechai of SA Investing Group points out that Boeing was looking forward to clearing their significant backlog of roughly 300 aircraft by November 2023, not to mention the over 200 planes already in service.

Challenging Times Ahead for Boeing

Boeing finds itself at a critical point, as it was just starting to bounce back from its lows during the pandemic. The company has been striving to ramp up production and reclaim its market leadership from Airbus, which has been ahead since the Boeing 737 MAX’s infamous grounding in 2018 after two devastating crashes that resulted in 346 lost lives.

Now, with this latest scare, Boeing’s journey to recovery and regaining trust faces potential setbacks as it once again comes under the tight watch of regulators.



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