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Boeing suffers another setback with Alaska Airlines emergency landing

By Eva Rothenberg and David Goldman, CNN

New York (CNN) — Boeing faces scrutiny over the safety of its aircrafts after an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Friday when a panel and window blew out.

Although it’s unclear what or who was to blame for the incident, engineering and quality problems have plagued Boeing in recent years. The aircraft maker has seen a string of incidents that have resulted in tragedies, groundings and ongoing worries about safety.

Perhaps the most notable incident, in 2019, all 737 Max planes were grounded across dozens of countries following crashes of two of of its jets — one in Ethiopia and one near Indonesia — that killed all 346 people on board. It was determined a design flaw in the plane was a major cause of the crashes.

The US grounding lasted 20 months, with planes starting to return to service in December 2020. Other countries, including China, kept the planes on the ground even longer.

The Max grounding was one of the most expensive corporate tragedies in history, costing the company more than $20 billion.

And the costs are ongoing. Boeing has faced massive operating losses in recent quarters as it tries to deliver the huge backlog of 737 Max planes to customers and racks up cost overruns on other planes, including the aircraft that will replace the current Air Force One jets.

Boeing has encountered a slew of other problems in recent years and as recently as December when the FAA urged airlines to inspect all 737 Max planes in their fleets after the discovery of missing bolts in two planes’ rudder control systems.

In April, Boeing said it discovered a manufacturing issue with some 737 Max aircraft after a supplier used a “non-standard manufacturing process” during the installation of two fittings in the rear fuselage – although Boeing insisted the problem did not constitute a safety risk.

The Max has also faced numerous notices for additional inspections since it returned to service in 2020. Boeing says that’s a result of its increased focus on safety.

And problems have not been limited to the Max: Boeing has faced massive operating losses in all but one quarter since 2019. It was forced to halt deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner widebody jet because of quality control problems. Though the Dreamliner was not grounded like the Max, it still hurt the company’s bottom line.

Throughout this, Boeing has racked up cost overruns on other planes, including losses of more than $2 billion on the two aircraft now being worked on that will replace the current Air Force One jets.

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CNN’s Pete Muntean and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN – Business/Consumer

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