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737 Max

Would a MAX by Any Other Name Cause Less Concern?

Would a MAX by Any Other Name Cause Less Concern?
Joe Cortez

After two accidents killing over 500 people, flyers are wary about flying aboard the Boeing 737 MAX when the ground order is lifted. Boeing is considering giving the airframe a new name and identity to re-inspire passengers when it can fly once more. But would it be enough?

The troubled Boeing 737 MAX may get a new identity if it would inspire renewed faith in the airframe. In an interview with Bloomberg, executives for the Chicago-based manufacturer said they would be open to a rebranding of the next-generation aircraft to improve the public perception.

The 737 MAX airframe was grounded worldwide after two fatal accidents within months of each other. Since then, Boeing has worked to find an answer under accusations of upselling safety features and poor manufacturing procedures. During the 2019 Paris Air Show, Boeing executives noted they would be willing to reconsider the aircraft name if it would result in a better public opinion.

“We’re committed to doing what we need to do to restore [the Boeing 737 MAX],” Boeing chief financial officer Greg Smith said in an interview. “If that means changing the brand to restore it, then we’ll address that. If it doesn’t, we’ll address whatever is a high priority.”

While the plan is one of many to get passengers back on the aircraft when it begins flying again, executives say there are no plans in the works to drop “MAX” from the next generation of 737 aircraft. Boeing has precedence for their argument: despite the initial problems with the 787 “Dreamliner,” the company kept the name and continues to fly the aircraft today.

Because passengers remain wary about the aircraft performance, airlines are changing their policies for those who do not wish to fly aboard it. But with a fix promised, airlines continue to remain optimistic about using it in their fleet. During the Paris Air Show, International Airlines Group – the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia – signed a letter of intent with Boeing to purchase 200 737 MAX-8 and MAX-10 aircraft between 2023 and 2027. The aircraft planned to go into service with British Airways out of London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and with their two low-cost carrier brands, Level and Vueling.

“We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators,” Willie Walsh, IAG CEO, said in the airline’s statement.

 

[Featured Image: Boeing]

View Comments (10)

10 Comments

  1. Gigantor

    June 25, 2019 at 4:18 am

    Changing the name is like putting lipstick on a pig…

  2. edgewood49

    June 25, 2019 at 6:35 am

    Joe comparing the 787 issue to the Max issue is a bit of a stretch, the battery issue did not cause crashes. I honestly think that there are far more serious issues than the public is aware of, my opinion. If it was simply a software issue doesn’t one think that it should have been solved by now? I am not so sure personally if I care to walk on board a max anytime soon.

    As for “rebranding” the 737 MAX the public will still want to know what model their flying on.

  3. edgewood49

    June 25, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Giganttor it is a pig

  4. Boggie Dog

    June 25, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Greg Smith, Boeing’s Chief Financial Officer, thinks changing a name will fix the Max. I want to hear from engineers and pilots with some straight talk about the flying characteristics, control forces, and other flight dynamics of the 737 Max. I’m not confident that this airplane should have ever been allowed off the ground. How does it handle at low speeds, like approach and takeoff, or at speeds near Vne?

    Boeing will need to prove that the airplane is unquestionably airworthy before I sign on.

  5. glob99

    June 25, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    The question is whether Boeing and the FAA will recommend additional pilot sim training.

  6. Torda

    June 26, 2019 at 4:22 am

    As a nervous flyer at the best of times, I would never get on one. I’m surprised BA have ordered so many, sounds like a fast route to losing customers.

  7. formeraa

    June 26, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    We fly in absolutely the safest period of aviation history. We are also in an “instant” communication era, where ordinary people have suddenly become “experts” in aviation safety. Every government aviation authority is scrutinizing the MAX…when and if it ever gets off the ground, it will be one of the safest jets out there. The pilots won’t fly it unless they are properly trained, the airlines won’t operate it until they are convinced it is safe (liability issues), and the government authorities will not certify it until they feel it is safe (intense political pressure).

  8. Boggie Dog

    June 27, 2019 at 6:36 am

    With the FAA’s discovery of another 737 Max flight control problem I think the future of the airplane grows more questionable.

    These kinds of problems shouldn’t be found two years after the aircraft entered service.

  9. Okto

    June 27, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I fly AA out PHX often to a number of destinations served by the 737 (family) of aircraft. Fortunately, for most of my destinations, AA also uses the 320/321 for the same daily route ~50% of the time. I am told that the 737 is and, eventually, the 737MAX will be “one of the safest planes to ever fly”. And that’s great, but I am firmly refusing to fly ANY 737-operated route because:
    1. I no longer trust the regulators. I used to think highly of the FAA, but this whole episode has destroyed their credibility in my mind for years to come. So, their “re-certification” of the 737MAX means nothing to me.
    2. Once the MAX returns to service, I don’t want to be bothered to figure out if its an NG or MAX-operated route, so I’ll avoid all 737s in general.
    3. It’s uncomfortable in just about every way. I’ll happily fly the 320/321 instead.
    4. And yes, it’s butt-ugly (yeah, I know, not a safety issue). Boeing has some amazing planes. I love the 747. And the 777. And I’m warming up to the 787. And I enjoyed the 767 quite a bit for a number of years. Out of the whole 7×7 series, the 737 is the Ford Fiesta I don’t wan to be on. Oh, and I’m old enough to remember flying the 727 (although not the 707).

  10. edgewood49

    July 2, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    I think Boeing needs to contract to AB to “private label ” Planes ! Done everyday in industry

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