How The 737 Max Crash Has Changed The Aviation Industry
If you love raving news, the March 10 crash incident involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 must have been one of the saddest moments in your life. The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines operated plane came down six minutes after take-off, sending shockwaves that reverberated across the world. All the 157 passengers and crew on board the plane, coming from eight different countries perished, resulting in massive international implications.
Shockingly, the crash came barely six months after another brand new plane operated by Indonesian Lion’s Air crashed in a similar manner on 29 October 2018. All the189 passengers and crew on board the MAX 8 also perished.
The crash that shook the industry to the core
You realize both incidences involved brand new 737 Max aircrafts casting doubts over the ‘celebrated’ cost-saving Boeing model that was quickly becoming a darling of the budget airlines. According to Mary Schiavo, a former Inspector General of the US Transport Department, those two incidences “ring alarm bells” because such “don’t happen” in the aviation industry.
The Ethiopia crash has since led to the grounding of the $40 billion worth 376, 737 Max 8 planes that were in operation around the world.
Here are some of the effects of the crash on the aviation industry:
Dashed hopes for low-cost airlines
There are a lot of mushrooming airlines in the emerging markets out there that target the low-income segment of the population. To satiate the demand, Boeing stepped in with the 737 MAX 8 planes and airlines fell for the new Boeing charm. Since then, Boeing has received massive orders for what the CEOs dubbed “very attractive cost-cutting option”, adding billions to the company values.
When the Lion Air’s Max 8 went down, no one raised eyebrows. Although investigations revealed that there were issues with the aggressive anti-stall software, Boeing promised to do a patch that would correct the challenge.
Before the patch was out, another tragedy struck on March 10. That’s when things went south. It was no longer business as usual. Different countries suspended the use of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft. As a result, it led to significant disruptions for passengers. Airlines had to find a way to fly already booked passengers, or remain in business; this has led to additional costs for the struggling airlines.
Shortage in aircrafts
The global grounding of MAX 8 aircraft has affected passengers’ mobility depending on the number of MAX 8 that Airlines had in their fleet. The grounding has affected most budget airlines that primarily depended on MAX 8 planes to transport passengers. Airlines that had a large Max 8 fleet will be more affected than the ones that operated a small number of the same model.
Besides, keeping the Max 8 fleet grounded will be very expensive for the airlines because don’t have spare aircraft. This airlines also have to deal with the fears that result from a lack of consumer confidence for the model.
Opened doors for competitors
Airlines are not the only entities that have been hit hard by the Max 8 crash. The grounding of the Max 8 fleet will be a huge blow for Boeing. Before the crash, the US multinational had more than 5,000 orders for the same model. That would mean, the company would spend the next seven years churning out 737 MAX planes with a value of $ 412 billion.
If the software glitch that resulted in a grounding of the model isn’t resolved swiftly, it will cost the company over $5 billion. It could put the company’s reputation on the line, exposing it to other competitors.