On April 9, 2021 Boeing has released a statement in its website saying that it has recommended to 16 customers that a potential electrical issue has to be looked into in a certain group of 737 MAX airplanes. It is not supposed to be related to issues that caused the 2018 and 2019 crashes.
The company said that they are working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. to check the production issue. The company said that it has informed its customers about the specific tail numbers of the aircraft that have been affected. It also said that it would inform them about the corrective action that would have to be taken.
According to Reuters the following airlines have grounded certain numbers of the 737 MAX airplanes:
- Southwest Airlines — 30
- American Airlines — 17
- United Airlines— 16
Just as the airline industry started its revival after the long hiatus due to the pandemic, this new issue tends to derail some of the benefits that are slowly appearing in the industry. The increase in vaccinations has led to an increase in travel but this grounding of airplanes will remove some of the growth and revenue till the technical problems are solved.
This issue is a different one from the one that led to two fatal crashes. At that time, Boeing didn’t tell pilots or the government about the installation of a piece of safety software as it was rushing to launch the plane in the market. It was competing with Airbus and is said to have designed new aircraft without sufficient research and development.
In February 2020, Boeing had found debris in the fuel tanks of more than two thirds of its grounded 737 MAX airplanes. After the debris was discovered the company made some changes in its production system.
In a statement on Friday, the FAA has said that it “will ensure the issue is addressed. Last December the FAA was accused of colluding with Boeing to ensure the recertification process of the 737 MAX in a Senate report.