Chair Cohen Questions Boeing CEO
Boeing CEO Dennis Muhlenberg will hold two Congressional hearings this week to answer questions about the design, certification and marketing of its 737 Max flagship aircraft. These will be his first public appearances after two disasters, which killed 346 people..
The crashes have caused worldwide abandonment of flights on the 737 Max, Boeing’s flagship model. They also stimulated research on certification methods used by aviation safety regulators.. Department of Justice is among those investigating.
Legislators will question Mühlenberg about production pressure on Boeing’s staff and how the company sold the aircraft around the world, emphasizing that training for pilots moving from previous models to 737 Max did not take long.
According to prepared testimony released before the hearing, Muehlenberg will speak to lawmakers in a contrite tone.
«We know we made mistakes and did some things wrong. We fix the situation», – said in the written testimony of Boeing CEO.
In addition to the CEO, testimony will be given by the vice president and chief engineer of the commercial aviation division of the company, John Hamilton.
The hearings will be closely followed by airlines, some of which have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue due to flight cancellations of the aforementioned model, as well as pilots, investors, regulators and family members of the victims who plan to attend the hearings and meet with Mühlenberg afterwards.
The first hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee is set for the morning of October 30, the anniversary of the crash of Lion Air 610. The nearly new 737 Max, carrying 157 people, crashed shortly after takeoff. The second incident involved an aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines. The aircraft crashed during a similar flight phase in March. All 189 people on this flight were killed.
Boeing and airlines say pilots will be a key part of the providing passengers comfortable flights on 737 Max. American Airlines said last week that it cut its annual revenue forecast.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Muñoz, who faced the wrath of lawmakers two years ago after a passenger was forcibly removed from the plane, advised Muhlenberg to be direct and honest..
Boeing expects regulators to allow the plane to fly again before the end of the year, but many airlines including United, Air Canada, American, Southwest and Iceland Air have taken the model off their schedules until early 2020..
«Regulators around the world must approve the return of the 737 Max to the skies only after they have applied the strictest controls and are fully satisfied with the safety of the aircraft. Our clients deserve it», – Muhlenberg said in his affidavit.