The airliner has been cleared to fly once more by the FAA, practically two years after a pair of crashes that killed a complete of 346 passengers. Boeing CEO David Calhoun sounded the proper notes in making the announcement, the complete assertion of which you will discover under.
However I could not assist however discover the one large factor Boeing did not do, because it’s what President Trump prompt again in April 2019.
Particularly, they did not change the identify.
“What do I learn about branding, possibly nothing (however I did develop into President!),” Trump tweeted on April 15, 2019, at 6:29 a.m., if the timestamp is to be believed, “but when I have been Boeing, I might FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some extra nice options, & REBRAND the airplane with a brand new identify.”
Trump added: “No product has suffered like this one. However once more, what the hell do I do know?”
These seven phrases have been the argument briefly: “REBRAND the airplane with a brand new identify.”
To paraphrase the president, what do I do know? However I wrote about this on the time, and I defined why I believed rebranding was a nasty concept. I feel that holds up, for 2 causes.
First, the crashes and the following issues with the 737-MAX have been large information, and in consequence the model is already very well-known.
Even when some informal passengers do not at all times discover what model or mannequin of airliner they’re flying on, the 737-MAX will nearly actually be completely different.
So, if phrase received out that Boeing had merely rebranded the very same airplane?
I believe that might undermine confidence much more than the crashes and 20-month hiaitus have. The mere reality of making an attempt would have risked undermining religion within the firm.
Second, there’s the truth that Boeing’s prospects aren’t airline passengers. They’re airways.
Even when Boeing have been prepared to take the danger of rebranding, I am unable to think about airways being prepared to purchase it, and assume the danger that passengers would revolt. I can also’t think about shareholders considering it could be an excellent resolution.
I requested Boeing whether or not rebranding ever entered the dialogue right here, or whether or not it took President Trump’s tweet significantly, or if there have been some other suggestions about rebranding from the federal government.
I have never heard again. I am going to replace this column in the event that they reply.
And it must also be famous that Trump later overruled his personal administration to order that the 737-MAX be grounded, so it wasn’t solely about branding for him.
However frankly, I am going to persist with the 2 large ideas I laid out final yr for what Boeing would possibly contemplate doing. They’re each about constructing belief.
First, if I have been a Boeing govt, I would push for an enormous demonstration flight: I would e book myself, and my colleagues — possibly our households — on an prolonged, round-the-world flight in a Boeing 737-MAX.
Even suggesting that now makes me squeamish; God forbid Boeing executives did this and one thing went improper.
However it could say quite a bit about their religion — and the belief they’re asking for.
Alternatively, if I have been at Boeing, I would contemplate asking competing airplane producers to research the info, do their very own assessments, and make their very own unbiased assessments.
I do know this is able to be a radical transfer, however since these rivals would have each incentive to not agree, their theoretical endorsement can be much more highly effective.
Think about: “The Boeing 737-MAX. So secure that even Airbus and Lockheed Martin signed off on it.”
Most of us aren’t pilots or aeronautical engineers. We’ve got no first-hand means of assessing whether or not one sort of airplane or one other is secure. Consequently, flying is at all times a matter of belief. That left Boeing with solely two choices in my estimation.
Both it might finish the 737-MAX program fully, which might imply a monetary catastrophe that I am unsure the corporate might survive.
Or else it might repair it, get it flying once more, and actually personal the identify — to the purpose that possibly sometime, “737-MAX” turns into a metaphor for one thing that failed at first, after which turned an enormous success.
I am considering large as a result of I am rooting for Boeing right here.
If the airplane goes to fly once more, I certain hope it’s secure. I additionally hope it can have constructive financial results (together with the truth that many roles are tied up in its success).
It has been a nasty sufficient yr for the airline business; I am glad for something that helps it recuperate, again–again, so long as it is secure.
At the very least with the official Boeing response, the corporate appears to grasp. The complete quote from Calhoun, the Boeing CEO, is under:
“We are going to always remember the lives misplaced within the two tragic accidents that led to the choice to droop operations. These occasions and the teachings we have now discovered in consequence have reshaped our firm and additional centered our consideration on our core values of security, high quality and integrity.”
As for President Trump? Thus far, I have never seen or heard something extra on the matter. In fact, he is been a bit preoccupied with different issues currently.