Under growing scrutiny from investors and regulators, embattled US aerospace giant Boeing will have a chance this week to reset the narrative as it aims to pivot from two deadly crashes that have grounded a top-selling plane.
The company will report earnings on Wednesday for the first time since a deadly March 10 plane crash plunged the company into crisis-mode.
Then, on April 29, the company will face its shareholders at an annual meeting that includes challenges to the company on leadership structure and government lobbying disclosure. The events come as Boeing’s 737 MAX remains grounded globally following an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, which together with the Lion Air crash in October, have claimed 346 lives.
Analysts have been waiting for Boeing to formally seek certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for a technical fix to get the planes flying again, a key step and one critical to Boeing’s bottom line.
Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg could announce progress on this front during an earnings conference call, a person close to the matter told AFP.
Adding to Boeing’s travails, The New York Times on Sunday published a report claiming the company had left debris on 787 aircraft during manufacturing, potentially threatening safe operations. The article included allegations from former employees who said they had been punished for raising safety concerns.
In a note to employees, Boeing South Carolina Site Leader Brad Zaback denounced the article as a “skewed and inaccurate” picture of the 787 program, adding that “quality is the bedrock of who we are.”
But Scott Hamilton of the aviation consultancy Leeham Company said the 787 issues, coupled with Boeing’s other woes, raised the possibility Boeing is facing systemic problems.
“There is no simple answer, nor is there a quick one,” Hamilton told AFP in an email. “Boeing has to improve its quality control and it has to be transparent and detailed with airlines, lessors and regulators in the MAX fix.”