UNITED States Aircraft manufacturing giant, Boeing may have to rebrand its 737 MAX following the recent two fatal crashes and possible passenger resistance to flying on the aircraft type when it is restored to commercial service.
Speaking at a roundtable on the sidelines at the Paris Air Show held on June 19, 2019, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Al Baker, said he had full confidence Boeing would find a fix for the system believed to be a factor in the two crashes and that regulators would certify the aircraft again, but declared that passengers could be reluctant to fly the MAX.
The Boeing manufacturing Company is finalizing changes to the model’s maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) flight-control law software.
Regulators around the globe had grounded the 380-aircraft MAX fleet in mid-March, shortly after the second accident of March 10, 2019 involving an Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.
The first Max 8 crash involved an Indonesian Lion Air which occurred in October 2018 and followed by the Ethiopian airline Max 8 crash which both killed over 350 people on board.
Qatar Airways has a leasing company that ordered 20 MAX 8 series at the time of the global grounding of the MAX fleet in mid-March, three of those had been delivered and placed with Air Italy, in which Qatar Airways has a 49% stake.
According to Al Baker in Paris: “I think Boeing will have to come up with something to re-name this airplane.”
Al Baker used the time to talk on the membership of the airline on oneworld global alliance saying that Qatar Airways would be making a decision “very soon” on whether to leave the oneworld global alliance. Al Baker has complained of hostility from some members.
His words: “We’re still reconsidering. We’ve had requests from our friends in oneworld not to withdraw, but the decision will be made in our best interests, not the best interests of the alliance”.
Meantime, the airline has made its first ever passenger flight to Portugal on Monday, 24th June 2019.