Can Boeing weather the 737 Max storm?

Pressure on Boeing is intensifying as crisis engulfs the company and its most popular plane.

Pressure is building on Boeing following the latest crash of its best-selling 737 MAX aircraft [File: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu]

It could take months to determine exactly why aBoeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. But the safety concerns raised by the second deadly crash in five months involving the model have unleashed a storm around Boeing and its most popular plane.

Pressure on the company intensified on Monday after France's BEA air accident authority said it found "clear similarities" between flight data recovered from the Ethiopian crash and an October crash of a 737 Max in Indonesia that killed all 189 people on board.

Also on Monday, Canada’s transport minister told reporters Transport Canada is reexamining the validation it gave to the 737 Max.

That decision followed a pair of newspaper reports over the weekend that cast doubt over the certification process for the 737 Max.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that federal prosecutors and US Department of Transportation officials are scrutinising the development of the 737 Max. And a separate Seattle Times investigation revealed that federal regulators had delegated wide responsibility for assessing the plane's safety to Boeing and the company, in turn, had delivered an analysis with crucial flaws.

Last week, aviation officials around the world grounded the 737 Max until further notice.

Having a major product designated a global pariah in its class - even temporarily - would be a crippling blow to many firms. And the longer questions circulate around the safety the 737 Max, the more uncertainty it creates for Boeing.

But the company enjoys a market position that makes it highly resilient.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and the US' biggest manufacturing exporter with revenues topping $100bn in 2018. It's also part of a duopoly along with Airbus, which together control nearly the entire global market for large aircraft manufacturing. Read more...

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