Aviation

Pilots pressured Boeing to review 737 Max before Ethiopian Airlines crash

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

A damning report published by The New York Times has revealed that Boeing resisted calls by American Airlines’ pilots and aviation experts to review the 737 Max.

This was following Lion Air flight 610 that killed 189 people but between the interim of the Indonesian disaster and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, where a further 157 people lost their lives.

Weeks after the first fatal crash of the 737 Max, pilots from American Airlines reportedly urged Boeing’s executives to press the Federal Aviation Administration for an ‘emergency airworthiness directive’.

Boeing resisted and said they expected pilots to be able to handle problems related to MCAS – the 737 Max anti-stall system – having been made aware of it, after initially not being informed of the new feature.

Shortly after the Lion Air tragedy, Boeing vice president Mike Sinnett reportedly acknowledged that the manufacturer was assessing 737 Max design flaws, including MCAS.

However, Sinnett urged caution in acting too quickly by rushing to have the jet’s software updated, reminding pilots, professionals and union members in attendance at the meeting that “rightly or wrongly” the design criteria reflected the assumption that flight crews had been trained to deal with situations where the plane’s tail moves in an uncontrolled way due to a malfunction.

A few months later, another Boeing 737 Max crashed, with its entire cabin and crew lost in the disaster, prompting an on-going worldwide grounding of the jet and a review of the fatal system that was found to have caused both disasters.

The future of the jet has been up-in-the-air ever since, with Boeing pledging its absolute support to ensuring the safety of its updated jet, which it claims will be one of the safest ever to fly, but reportedly continuing to face scrutiny over the initial certification of the 737 Max.

After initially backing Boeing with his full support for the re-certification of the jet, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam back flipped on his initial support by telling NBC News he could not confirm the 737 Max would return to the airline’s line-up.

“At this stage I cannot, I cannot fully say that the airplane will fly back on Ethiopian Airlines. It may, if we are fully convinced and if we are able to convince our pilots, if we are ever to convince our traveling public,” Gebremarian said.

It has also been revealed that Boeing received no new orders for planes in April, including no new orders for 737 Max aircraft since its grounding in March, or the 787 Dreamliner and 777.

Boeing did report some orders for the other jets in late March. Lufthansa ordered 20 of the 787 jets on 15 March, and British Airways ordered 18 of the 777X on 22 March.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Travel Agents

Agent disappears after being ordered to pay back clients (and allegedly owing franchisor 40K)

This story has got a bit of a Catch Me If You Can aura about it, minus Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Rail Europe launches summer special for Great Train Journeys

Once again, there isn’t enough road and rail news for us to deliver you a wrap, but we do have this. Or, you can re-read that bullet train story we did last week.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

STUDY: Ireland suffering significant slowdown for international arrivals

It appears the luck of the Irish is running out, and hunting for leprechauns has fallen out of fashion with tourists, according to this analysis.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline crowned Australia’s most attractive employer

Travel Weekly wrongly assumed this accolade was based on looks, proving just how shallow we really are.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

SBS and NITV gear up for third season of ‘Going Places with Ernie Dingo’

Admittedly, Travel Weekly’s editor only ever tunes into SBS if it’s playing re-runs of Inspector Rex or Iron Chef, but Ernie’s travel show is worth checking out.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel wrap: Ovolo’s dog-friendly rooms, IHG’s new brand, Pan Pacific’s expansion + more

New hotel brands, expansions, dog-friendly rooms, a ‘Kids Kava’ experience and a tuk-tuk bar – this week’s hotel wrap is much like a bag of liquorice allsorts.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Destinations

Commercial airlines warned Iran military could target flights due to “miscalculation or misidentification”

Are you or a client flying over the Persian Gulf in the near future? You may want to give this a read.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Technology

Amazon has another crack at travel with launch of flight bookings

Well, well, well. It appears another tech giant is putting their finger the travel pie. Cue the fear.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Destinations

Tourism

International airport to be built “right on top” of world-famous tourist attraction

If you’re a travel professional and doing all you can to avoid the dangers of overtourism like the plague, you might want to sit down while reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Report finds brakes weren’t used before plane crash that killed 41

Those seeking answers to why the Russian Aeroflot plane crash that killed 41 people occurred have been given a bit of clarity around the tragic incident.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Technology

TripAdvisor steps in after restaurant roasted for issuing tourists huge bill

We’re such tight-arses here at Travel Weekly that we often adopt the ‘dine and dash’ strategy when eating out.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Wholesalers

Excite Holidays launches new guide to Indonesia

Coincidentally, Indonesia has just re-elected its president, and Travel Weekly’s editor is having dinner at an Indonesian restaurant tonight.

Share

CommentComments