10 Minutes About: Boeing, Calhoun’s extension and Smith’s retirement

April 21, 2021, (c) Leeham News: Boeing announceed April 20 that the Board extended CEO David Calhoun’s mandatory retirement age from 65 to 70. Calhoun was 64 on April 18 and had one year to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

Now, with six years, he can finish structuring Boeing and presumably launch a new airplane program.

Also announced on April 20 is that Greg Smith, the chief financial officer and EVP of strategy and other things, will retire July 9. Smith was named CFO in 2011. Some thought he might be in line to become CEO once Calhoun stepped down at age 65.

Richard Aboulafia of The Teal Group is LNA’s guest on this episode of 10 Minutes About to discuss these developments.

163 Comments on “10 Minutes About: Boeing, Calhoun’s extension and Smith’s retirement

  1. Very pleasant to listen to Richard Aboulafia: no hot air, no window dressing, no political correctness — he just (politely) describes the situation as it is.

    So, Calhoun wants to return as soon as possible to dividend payments after debt has been reduced and the balance sheet has been repaired.
    And the engineering R&D department has been cut back by 20%, thus further reducing Boeing’s ability to produce a new plane on time and without a whole list of defects.
    It seems clear that the “one third market share” referred to by Richard A. is more likely than not. Probably even less, once COMAC takes the Chinese market away from western OEMs.

    • I like Richard as well, I have seen him wrong a lot on tech aspects, but this is inside Boeing Board and CEO and it seems spot on.

      R&D target was -25% and it fell by an actual 27% cut back.

      To spin that out to COMAC is a spiral, COMAC can’t, they have no product they can sell into the rest of the world.

      Airbus clearly can become a oneopoly.

      • Take a look at the latest blatant failure of BA/FAA:

        Tim Clark blasts B777X’s in a state of disarray, EASA sent BA guys back to the drawing board.

        Tim Clark wants clear timetable and performance commitment, if not he’s looking to back out of the deal. The hard working turnaround guy David bites off more than he can chew?

        • Clark can cut the deal now if he wants, its past the promised delivery date

          You seem to assume Calhoun can do share buy back and chew at the same time. Not my experience with bean counters (what Wall Street calls financial guys but then ….. well pirates comes to mind)

          • Your reflex defence of BA missed the crux of the matter.

            What’s between your ears? Take a seat, have a deep breath and think for a minute or two.
            Tim Clark was the narrator. When was the last time EASE took such an initiative, not deferring to FAA??

            The global regulatory framework is fragmenting in front of you in real time, you missed the forest for the trees.

          • Pedro:

            You really should read the post or work on comprehension.

    • Yea, that is my take as well.

      Big laugh is without those cash payments on aircraft you are not making, where do you get the cash to do the Share Buyback?

      I wonder if we will hear more from Smith and was the issue different in that he recognized that once they were stable they had to develop product?

      Of two peas in a pod?

      You may not want an engineer in charge, but you never want a bean counter in charge.

  2. Interresting discussion!
    but it is strange that the possibility of a nasty scenario regarding the departure of Mr Smith was not mentioned, or discussed.
    The financial situation is dire, there are still floods of red ink to come, regarding for instance the 787 deffered accounts issue.
    at the 5/Month rate, the profit potential of the 787 program is doubtful.
    MAX and 777X future profits are not better.
    Supply chain problems will cost some cash to keep suppliers alive, and bring some trouble on assembly lines, with costly losses of efficiency.
    No money is available to develop a new plane.
    It is strange that no figures , no forecast have been published so far.
    All this stinks.
    A debt downgrade is possible, as well as an exit from the DJ index.
    An investor panic is certainly possible.
    and to avoid a panic, some creative accounting could be an option, and maybe that is the real reason of Greg Smith departure???

    • My gut feeling is that Smith not just lost a battle, but he had no support at the Boeing Royal Court and even waiting he would never get the crown (shades of Chuck and Liz).

      Boeing can borrow the money for an aircraft development, that is not the issue.

      What is, they can’t do Share Buy back and Dividends and launch an aircart program (you have to think they will tease it).

      You would think Wall Street would be delighted with the slash and burn of Boeing for the future.

      • @Trans

        Boeing has to be real careful with the next round of borrowing. Q1 results will be coming out soon and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

        Problem is, with their status just above junk, another round might push them into junk status – where all kinds of covenants kick in (read: interest rates rise with added risk and money becomes more expensive)

        Interest expense has risen to $2.15 billion in 2020. Q4 alone was $700 million.

        In 2018 (the last year before the Max grounding & covid) when sales were high, expenses were low and money was being thrown around – they had a 11.9% margin.

        If Boeing could somehow replicate something close to that same margin, then the first ~ $20 billion in company wide sales goes to pay interest expense. Not principle, just the cost of borrowing that money.

        I guess we’ll find out

      • @TW

        WS will not lend BA the 15B for a new plane at least with any intent to make money on the ‘supposed’ new plane

        It’s the other way round – the new plane is there to PR a cover story for a new bout of borrowing, without coming across quite as desperate as in fact they are

        Cash to pay dividends, why not, to shore up white tail sales, to fix the 787, to buy time till China re certs

        You name it they need money for it

        The end game is elsewhere – what is an aviation package that is worth real money to a country that has real money?

        • @Gerrard

          I think the company-speak term used for that kinda action is:

          “General corporate purposes”

          Coding for: “Petty cash for our scotch collection”

          • @Frank


            But – what is your opinion – how is the end game going to unfurl or unravel?

            Loaded up with debt it soon will not be able to afford the rent on, with assets losing value daily, excluded from major markets, no new plane project….

            DoD leeching off the defense bit – ok – but the rest?

            Continued ‘services’ to the planes still flying – ok

            But building new planes? Is there a future?

    • XOM and other big oil are facing an almost “existential crisis” and after suffering bilions lost last year (XOM had to borrow to pay dividend), they are are still rated AA-, multiple grades higher than BA (which is one step away from junk).

      XOM is run by engineers, unlike RR (previously) and BA (currently) run by financial engineers.

      Rearrange a few deck chairs, have a drink or two and enjoy the music from the band during the Titanic’s last hours.

      • Thank you GERRARD!
        Extremely interresting!
        watch in particular “And let’s not forget that KPMG might be replaced after more than 100 years as external auditor for General Electric, which was just accused of perpetuating a $38 billion accounting fraud.”
        the fox is inside the barn.

        • @flying frog

          Chairman Cal knows a good trickster when he works with one first at GE now at BA

          Same trick twice in a row? Sounds too good to be true

  3. Once investors start to realize the portfolio / outlooks are not a s good as being presented over the years, things hopefully change. You extract money form an old empty barn.

    Maybe, just maybe, Calhoun, past his retirement is financial independent, conscious enough, to use 3-4 years to invest in the future, safe the company.

    And not fall for short term greed / WS pressure. Because by now, US government must also be pretty much done with Boeing in it’s current situation / performance track record.

    • While I wondered that, when you say returning to share buy back is the primary goal, it leaves no hope.

      With Kellner the COB, that is two kill the golden goose types at the top and most of the board are lame.

  4. so, basically, what I take from this is that McBoeing’s board is on board with Calhoun driving the nails into the coffin and they are giving him 6 years to finish the job.

    • Maybe Calhoun is holding his cards close to his best? But if one takes his words literally, they sure sound like the leadership coming out of McDonnell Douglas back in the early 1990s. Not much risk taking here. I can understand getting as much out of the MAX as one can, but there is no future in it. I know what they should do. Bring Tony Robbins in for a workshop… Something…

      • Both the MAX and the 787 have a return ahead of them (that is best hope vs maybe likely possibility that they will continue to screw it all up)

        But when the statement is SB primary, the Mountain of Doom wins.

    • >McBoeing’s board is on board with Calhoun driving the nails into the coffin <

      Sure looks that way. What signs are there to the contrary?

      "Remain calm; all is well at mcBoeing."

  5. It is often a misstake to take the CFO to be CEO unless the business is pure finance. Boeing seems to be much more open with its findings and notify customers directly to ground Aircrafts when serious findings occur before the FAA has time to react. A bit like Dassault and the 7X initially.

    • Calhoun is a CFO, look at his background, not an iota of tech.

      The grounding stuff is to save a worse fate (my opinion of course) rather than have it leak to the press and the messy weeks that follow.

      In other words, the appearance of responsibility.

      Our neighbors had a kid like that, toed the line until his folks traveled, then it was a head banging party next door.

  6. The one program that is going from success to success is the T-7A jet trainer.
    * successful new design process involving a full digital twin
    * rapid prototype development (under two years I recall) with first flight in 2016
    * won the contract easily having it awarded in 2018
    * aft fuselage has arrive in St Louis and work on first production example to start

    I can’t recall any negative news for this program. The US Air Force wants at least 350 aircraft and and I expect we’ll soon hear about foreign trainer sales and then light attack versions. I bet over 1000 are ultimately built.

    • I am not on board with the T-7A a success.

      The 787 at that stage looked great.

      The F-35 looked really wonderful until planes hit the runway and then it was a drip drip until it became cleared how hosed up that program was and continues to be.

      And we don’t know how much SAAB has contributed to things. Its half the program but it may be 90% of the success (ie, see Grippen and Grippen E)

      I am waiting on this as the flip is that Boeing has proven incapable on the vast majority of their other programs including defense other than legacy programs).

    • First delivery 2023?? How is it different from calling the B777X another great success and achievement?

  7. What a shame- reward failure with a promotion.
    Also, those two military guys, who know nothing about engineering,
    are retained.
    One must expect more difficulties due to lack of engineering guidance.

      • Well at my level the failure fell upwards to.

        Of course we had another way of putting it but working at the face of the seam is a bit on the earthy side.

  8. The time for an outside investor to save Boeing has come.
    That’s a desperate!

    • Boeing is far too big for an outside investor to make any difference.

      Bill Gates? Buffett? Why would he waste his time on no return?

        • Mulllaly sold off all Fords assets and raised something like 20 billion.

          He had Carte Blanch to tear down the bureaucracy that builds up in a long time company and ossified it, ripped it out by the roots.

          But he told Clay that was what had to happen and he had to have the full authority to do it.

          Due to Ford ownership structure by the Fords, Clay had the votes to ensure there was no resistance.

          Equally with the family they had a legacy aspect that the other family members did not want it going down like the Titanic.

          Boeing has none of that . It has two bean counters in control.

    • I’ve been suggesting that all along, about outside people or the biggest stockholders to take this problem seriously. CEOs and their managers are about one thing these past few decades: Increasing the share price to meet stock option bonuses. And they did it at Boeing, and now they’re a shell of an organization. They still might be able to save them, but this CEO doesn’t seem to have a vision.

      • On the contrary, majority of shareholders’ vote went for the board, clear sign of late stage Capitalism.

        Fund managers are short-term oriented, they pay more attn to share price. Buffett is not coming to rescue, he was the enabler of LBO (see Kraft Heinz/3G Capital’s Burger King), GE quarter-end profit manipulation (or turned a blind eye).

        • I have to agree with Pedro. Maybe for different reasons.

          Boeing is (was) such a big entity that no one person can buy and control it. And why would anyone? Its not going to return anything for a long time once you have run it into the ground like this.

          The ones who own the shares voted back in the same group that sunk it.

          As Scott noted, so much for shareholder rebellion. I may have Boeing stock, never parsed the Mutual Funds to see. If I do its a very small part.

          And I don’t control the Mutuals in any way or form shape, so nothing I could do if I could.

          • Like I stated, the BOD and the major stockholders are not taking this seriously. They are disconnected from reality and the 100,000s of people that work for the company and its suppliers.

  9. Tax laws need to change or Boeing will be an empty shell by the time he retires.

    • If Tax Laws change, Boeing actually owes money (well used to)

      Its Corporate regulations that allow share buy back, dividends when no profits, program accounting, executives being paid in shares that would help.

  10. Tim Clark of Emirates

    “We haven’t (got) visibility on either delivery or on performance at this stage in the game. So we are kind of reserving our position on where we are on this aeroplane.”

    Clark said he had been told that some of the 777X systems had not met European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) expectations and were now going to be changed.

    Tim Clark wants clarity from Boeing and may modify B777X order.

    • YOu might keep in mind that Tim Clark is the one who assured the world that RR had magianly increasted the Trent 900 SFC by 7%.

      For those non techy types out there, 1-2% is huge and that is a comlte upgraded engines (The Trent 1000 is an example)

      Its impossible to get a current engine to 7%.

      But Clark blew the smoke and shifted the orders to the Trent 900 for the last A380 Emirates purchased incurring two huge penalties

      1. It never even matched the GP
      2. It has all sorts of problem
      3. And the bonus is he wound up having to support a 2nd engine that was a dog.

      All this from a State Owned Airline.

      There are good sources to list for Boeing issues, TC is not one of them.

  11. Interesting point made from a financial website:

    “Boeing’s total of liabilities, including debt, has risen from $90 billion in 2017 to $170 billion in early 2021. Accounting for the significant -$12.8 billion in GAAP losses last year, retained earnings have declined back to 2015 levels, when the stock quote was $125 a share, not today’s $248. The truly rotten news from the balance sheet is book value has declined from a small positive number in 2017 to -$18 billion currently (tangible book value which is far worse). In other words, if the company went under and was liquidated today, there would be far more loan/credit/pension/contract obligations than assets!”


    • @Frank:

      Dont forget the tangible book value included $15 billion deferred production cost vaporware.

  12. Time to chuck the entire 777X order and switch to something other than “smoke and mirrors”.
    Boy, I bet Clark regrets cancelling his A350s a few years ago…all because of unjustified fears over hot airport performance. Look at the misery that he unleashed upon himself…

    • Maybe Emirates don’t especially need the 777-X2024/5, in light of Current Events. Just a guess, of course.

      • Bill7:

        Bingo, consider the source, if its a rotten apple commenting on another rotten apple it does not make the rotten apple a good one.

        The comment Rotten apple is still rotten.

  13. From the Bloomberg article on the shareholders’ meeting:

    “… The CEO vowed to return the planemaker to its engineering roots.”

    “…we listened we adapted we stayed focused, we remained tireless in our pursuit fo continuous improvement, …”

    ” … first priority will be investing in its business [and repaying debt] …”

    I would like to see more leadership vision to back up these statements. Like, why are they in the 6th, 7th, and 12th paragraphs, for instance, instead of the keynote message for the meeting?

  14. This commenter does not wish for Boeing’s demise; only for it to once again become a decent company; not driven by the financialized decision that benefit ony the Very Few; and a good employer for the many fine persons it takes to build a complex product like a commercial passenger aircraft. The signs
    I see from that entity *so far* are not promising.

    In this age of Corporatism, forced polarization, and forced inhuman atomization, the opinion above won’t satisfy some; but alas..

    • That has always been my take. I know its gruesome, but hope that it got corrected.

      That is gone. I assume any new aircraft talk is to keep the scheme going so they can finish gutting Boeing.

      Ford did not fix itself until it was on the verge of going under and that was only because Clay Ford controlled the stock (with family) to make it happen.

      Equally he recognized he could see what needed doing but did not know how to make it happen.

      Which puts us back to the last chance for Boeing was Mullaly and it was all downhill when that failed.

      • >I assume any new aircraft talk is to keep the scheme going so they can finish gutting Boeing. <

        So far, this fits the facts: is a new airplane from Boeing any more that "Someday, Baby!" vaporware?

        "basher! / hater! / coördinated anti-Boeing Bad Person-er!"

        Nope, just watching w/ disinterested, train-wreck interest. Follow the money..

    • Adding: WRT Corporatism and the prevalent non-think:

      “Agree with me, or Face the Consequences; it’s very much up to you, of course..”

      of course. no threat implied from that quarter..

    • @Bill7

      The opinion is a good opinion – the wish a good wish

      But – cut to the chase – how can BA recover to become the decent company

      This rot is not only pervasive in the company, but in the industry, but throughout all US infrastructure, and indeed one can say throughout every aspect of US economic and political life, at scale

      BA is merely a sign of the times a poodle being wagged down the drain

      (see Lina Khan)

      • > This rot is not only pervasive in the company, but in the industry, but throughout all US infrastructure, and indeed one can say throughout every aspect of US economic and political life, at scale <

        Agreed; and don't expect much from the Lina Khan person.
        More theatre..

        • @Bill7

          I think you are too harsh on Lina Khan

          The thinking she uses seems to correlate with the thinking used in a certain large Asian country which has had mighty success recently in providing infrastructure and development

          Her Amazon report is pertinent -https://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/amazons-antitrust-paradox

          If someone who thinks like this can get nominated – there may be some slivers of hope that measures to modify some of the worsest corruptions of US Industrial and Infrastructure practice, most notably with regard to aviation and the cess pit formerly known as Boeing

    • @Trans

      I think you are being very generous. Boeing did a re-tread with the 777X program and had to write off $6 billion (so far)….and that is 3 years before jet#1 will be delivered.

      I don’t think they get it done for less then $15 billion, closer to $20. Especially if it is a widebody.

      • Write offs arent ‘looses’ . Yes it was $6.5 bill last year for 777X most of that is just accounting changes for money spent years ago….look up double entry bookkeeping.
        The changes to the design are at the small scale – actuator control electronics and yes Covid has effected the whole production and development side causing losses.

        • @Duke

          Wow – I must have missed that class on the way to my accounting degree, when the prof said
          “Write offs arent ‘looses’ ”

          Technically speaking, Boeing did not ‘write off’, but took a pre-tax charge of $6.5 billion, which amounts to the same thing as Boeing uses program accounting (i.e. fancy numbers footwork) to manage it’s three BCA programs.

          Program accounting matches expenses with revenues, instead of taking the expense when it is incurred. The money is spent, but then they hold off on reporting it as an expense until they can match with revenue. Which is why the 787 program is still down some $17 billion.

          At the end of the accounting block (the number of units estimated to be produced and sold) they then ‘settle up’ if you will – and then it can be determined whether the program is a money maker or a loser. (But when $17 billion still has to be accounted for, over the final 500 or so deliveries, where margins are around 20% at the best of times…well)

          When Boeing took the pre-tax charge of $6.5 billion – they are admitting that this expense will not be matched with a revenue and the program, will not be making a profit. Each 777X delivered (in 2023 or whenever they can fix their issues) in the block will still have expenses associated with it – it’s not like they took the charge and every plane after that is pure profit.

          You also mistakenly assume that this is only an accounting move, but it is not – the loss is still there. You see, Boeing had to go to market and borrow money to pay for this. The charge is sitting there, except it is now called something like ‘Loan Payable’ in the long term debt portion of the liability side of the B/S.

          But along with that, is a quarterly charge called ‘Interest Expense’, which is an income statement item – a payment Boeing has to make and record each quarter (now at ~$700 million per quarter) to pay for the cost of borrowing that $6.5 billion that they expensed at the end of 2020.

          Until Boeing pays back that money (either a loan, bonds issued or on their line of credit) it will continue to cost them.

          Boeing is essentially saying that this $6.5 billion will never be made up in the accounting block (otherwise it would stay there, until it could be matched with a revenue) and since we have determined that, we have an obligation to recognize the charge.

          A write off of an asset (receivables or inventory) will involve a debit to an unpaid receivables account as a liability and a credit to accounts receivable or an expense debit for the value of inventory unusable and a credit to inventory. Inventory can be lost, stolen, spoiled, or obsolete.

          In those terms, the ‘write off’ for the 777X program, as an asset that will generate revenues and associated expenses that will be matched (in the program accounting method) has been de-valued, if you will – by the $6.5 billion charge.

          It’s all creative accounting designed to kick the can down the road, so the guys in the hot seat, who’s compensation today is linked to how well the company performs financially – can get paid.

          But one day…the butcher’s bill will come due.

          (BTW, there was also this in the disclosure:

          “Fourth-quarter operating margin decreased to (161.8) percent, primarily driven by a $6.5 billion pre-tax charge on
          the 777X program, lower delivery volume, and $468 million of abnormal production costs related to the 737
          program, partially offset by a lower 737 MAX customer consideration charge.”

          So the 737 Max program also took a half billion dollar charge. Another program that will not be profitable)

          • @ Frank

            Thanks for this explanation of the BA complicated accounting system which has everyone especially BA non plussed and lost or should that be lossed


            Check this out plus DB’s explanations in seeking alpha

            You may understand the reservations both DB and Frank have expressed as to the validity of this accounting system to give any credence to BA’s financial statements and claims of control over their operations

            Once the corporation figures out how to cheat officially and ‘legally’ with the finances then they follow up with cheating the engineering the clients the pilots….let’s not forget the dead passengers

            The finance cheating makes the rest of the cheating inevitable, the deaths ditto

          • @DoU

            Wow. Write-offs arent “looses”! But vaporware profits generated by program accounting are real??

            Where does your accounting come from? Self-invented??

          • Frank said: “..Program accounting matches expenses with revenues, instead of taking the expense when it is incurred. The money is spent, but then they hold off on reporting it as an expense until they can match with revenue. Which is why the 787 program is still down some $17 billion..”

            “Until they can match it with revenue.” Sweet!
            Is that same arrangement available for us proles?

          • “Is that same arrangement available for us proles?

            If you list on the stock exchange and report under SEC rules , yes. If you dont like Boeings program accounting , dont buy the shares. Oh thats right you would rather have Uber or some other flash in the pan thats never returned a cent to its investors from its operations.
            By the way, the reporting of Boeing includes ‘non program’ figures as well so your comments are even bigger nonsense.

            Frank doesnt seem to understand that Boeing has been spending money on the 777X since program announcement ( and probably a bit before that in 2011) and even after early airlines take delivery those planes will have cost more to build than the launch price.
            However I appreciate you making coherent comments on these things rather the cartoon level from the usual chicken littles. I’m going to love their reaction when Boeing resumes dividend or share buybacks….

          • @Duke

            “Frank doesnt seem to understand that Boeing has been spending money on the 777X since program announcement ( and probably a bit before that in 2011) and even after early airlines take delivery those planes will have cost more to build than the launch price.”

            You don’t understand how it works, do you?

            Frank is saying, as he did in his answer to you – that the 777X program will not be profitable. Ever. Neither will the 787 program. Neither will the 737 Max program.

            Program accounting, as I tried to explain to you, allocates the cost of the program over the estimated units to be sold. So even if Boeing started spending in 2011, they won’t allocate those expense until they begin to deliver aircraft. And then – only a portion will be used, per aircraft.

            UNLESS they take a pre-tax charge.

            Another example of this was the 787. It first flew in 2011. They had the battery issue thing – remember that? That and other production issues pushed the deferred production balance over $30 billion. It is now around $17 billion with 1,000 aircraft delivered – meaning they expensed ~$13 billion of that, over the aircraft they delivered.

            Boeing has ~500 787’s left on order. To zero out the program and BREAK EVEN, they must make a margin of $17 billion on the remaining 500 deliveries, otherwise the program is a loss and they will have to take a charge – like the $6.5 billion on the 777X program.

            Do you understand now? Program accounting allows you to not have to declare an expense you spent money on YEARS AGO.

            I’ll try to give you an example.

            The 787 was a new design. Let’s say they spent $1 billion on designing (not producing), testing & certifying this new wing.

            So everything is ready, they make the first production aircraft and deliver it, getting some $140 million in return.

            Let’s say the design and first delivery happens in the same financial year. If you used regular GAAP, the billion spent is expensed (actually since it takes years, it would be in the financials years before, but I digress) and the first plane makes a loss of $860 million. (If it cost you nothing to produce)

            You sell two and you lose $720 million.

            Thing is, that design of the wing is as valuable, let say – for the last jet, as it is for the first jet. ALL the jets will benefit from the billion spent earlier, to create the wing. It doesn’t seem rational that the first few aircraft made bear the loss, for all of the planes to be produced – right?

            Program accounting allows you to estimate the amount of aircraft you believe will be sold, over the lifetime of the jet. Boeing has set the number at 1,500.

            Then what happens is our hypothetical amount of $1 billion gets divided amongst the 1,500 units, which gives you an expense of $666,667.

            So each time a jet gets delivered, the design of the wing gets expensed at $666,666. EVERY SINGLE AIRCRAFT. Doesn’t matter when it’s sold or when the money was spent on design.

            With me so far?

            Now – what happens if the accounting block gets changed? Boeing recently changed the estimated 787 block from 1,600 to 1,500.

            Well, you’ve got less aircraft to spread out the remaining balance and the amount expensed when a plane is sold, it costs you more – which means less profit.

            What happens when the program runs into trouble an you have to spend money to fix it – like the 787 & 737 Max? The amount you have to expense goes up. Profit goes down.

            At a certain point in time, you say “We are never going to cover the money we spent, with the revenues we will generate”

            So you take a charge of $6.5 billion.

          • @Frank

            With you – forget about trying to explain reality to BA PRs – it’s not possible

            Thanks another ultra clear description of the accounting block

            This accounting has the Boeing fans fooled : the ample trickery inherent in estimating upfront how many planes will be sold in ignorance of possible future production issues with cost overruns carefully underestimated and discounting any unpredicted repair or refit expenses has fooled BA as well

            As you say BA has 500 787 still to sell and on each sale they must secure an increased margin over the regular baked in average margin in order to claw back the 17B deferred

            DB has calculated this extra margin at (extra !) 33M per plane – BA is lucky to to sell anything at over cost – by cost is meant real current cost not the tricked up poodle cost

            Given the poor market and the ruined rep of BA and the composite problems of the plane manufacture and production this 33M margin is looking extremely unlikely, more likely to be zeroM

            So the 17B or something close will have to be recognised as a loss and charged accordingly

          • Accounting blocks of estimated planes under order or forseably so can go up and down, mostly up.
            It’s not a case of making a profit from developing an airliner like the 777X from the around 300 in the accounting blocks. The number will rise over the next 15 yrs or so, could even make 700 units. After all the old 777 was selling 120 per year, which won’t be reached but 40 -50 will be no problem.

          • Frank:

            Good if mind bending material.

            I will stand by the 10-15 billion for a new aircraft.

            That assumes its done right.

            The 787 expenses were not due to basic technical issues or even production (few and easily fixed and even those were the result of management screw ups not the tech itself).

            By way of detail, Airbus used Li Ion batteries in the A350 (deleted them until they got the standards down for use, then put back in)

            Its not that Li Ion can’t be managed (is it worth it is a good question ?) its that there was no standards for how to do it right (which Boeing used its ability to twist the FAA oversight to allow it to drive the truck through that gap instead of using the RTC to establish real standards, basically an early template of the MCAS 1.0 failure)

            Supposedly the T-7A program is the template for a new aircraft and with a clean sheet well done and cost control, 12 billion is about right.

            The real question is, with a gutted company can Boeing do it?

            Fair response is no.

          • Under the current CEO and the board, they are salivating at the billion and billion that can be used to repay debt, then the dividend and share buyback wanted by @DoU

      • Boeing tried to short cut certification by presenting the 777x as a 77W derivative. FAA showed surprising flexibility and allowed grandfathering again, after a lot of outside pressure. Congress made sure a lot of streamlined FAA=Boeing. To strengthen Boeings competitive position, save jobs, remove bureaucracy.

        Then the international committee (JATR) takes a look at the Boeing/FAA certification process after the 737MAX crashes. The report is professional, correct but devastating. Everybody “discovers” a new wing, cockpit, engines, tail landing gear and fuselage basically is a new aircraft. Not a pile of minor changes. Then the 777x fuselage rupture at an unexpected place requires a root – cause investigation.. A “top-down”certification approach is required after all.

        That is what’s causing the 777X years of delay. Not the GE engine delay and Covid-19. Although it comes in handy as PR window dressing to contain perceptions.

        • @Keesje

          Agree 100%. The only thing I can pick a bone with in your assessment is:

          “FAA showed surprising flexibility…”

          Given what has come out about the Max program, nothing about how the FAA treated Boeing (pre-Max crashes & investigation) can be surprising, when it comes to aircraft certification.

          Funny thing is – even today, people are running around claiming:

          “The 737 Max is the most scrutinized and is now the safest aircraft in the skies. Safest plane EVER (from now on)”

          Except for this fastener problem we found.

          “NOW….it will be the safest plane, EVER”

          Except for this electrical problem that was driven by the fastener problem we recently found.

          “NOW…for real…it will be…”

          How come you guys didn’t come up with this while you were running the fine tooth comb over the Max during the 20 months it was sitting on the ground in Washington? I guess it wasn’t long enough…

          • @ Frank
            Regarding the points that you’ve raised w.r.t. the MAX, I raised similar points yesterday in a reaction to the article below. We were lucky enough at that juncture to have a surprise visit from “a certain commenter”, who proceeded (with back office support) to dismiss such shortcomings as just regular run-of-the-mill occurrences. We were told:
            “These are all examples of Boeing reviewing, finding, self-reporting, and addressing issues in the manufacturing process. All relatively minor and all addressed quickly. None of which significantly impact the resumption of MAX aircraft service.”

            Just goes to show the denialism that’s blowing around. As long as that attitude persists in regulatory circles, nothing will change.

            By the way, in your list of recent MAX screw-ups you forgot:
            – The AD relating to replacement of the fuel system processors.
            – Two separate issues relating to stabilizer motors.

          • @ Frank
            Amazing — but unsurprising — new development in the McMAX soap opera.

            It makes you wonder what we’ll be treated to in the next episode.

            Time for Patrick Ky to do his job and ground the MAX again…pronto.

          • Frank:

            The tech adder here is the grounding system was not the same one used before the MAX production was shut down.

            The fine tooth comb (if it really happened ) is irrelevant as they changed a method.

            Now, why they can change a grounding scheme (in this case several changes to it) and its so miner the FAA is not aware of it is the base question that should be asked.

            In the Electrical world, a grounding scheme is the core of a system.

            But we saw that on the GENx engine when they changed coating systems to industrialize the engine building.

            In the bigger picture, why do they allow an approved process to be changed without testing it? Of in this case a review of it and the use of materials, methods etc looking at and also tested?

            And, how many other changes were made?

    • Interesting factoid. The Ford Taurus development cost $3.5 billion in 1985 or $8.6billion in todays dollars.

      • You cant do a cross roads traffic ’roundabout’ for under $250,000 these days.
        A startup with 40 people in a San Francisco trendy office in a converted warehouse’ cant get by without $2 bill from ‘angels’
        Indeed thats how a lot of well known names in aviation started in the 1920s, even McDonnell was a startup with big names in finance behind it

  15. Reform is in the air du temps

    Lina Kahn is up for Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission

    It is possible that her position and understanding of the root causes of the inefficiences of US infrastructure, in particular with regards to airtravel, may lead to reform

    Of relevance is this report from 2012 which pinpoints with accuracy many wearily familiar distortions and corruptions semi concealed subsidies enduring profiteering


    • That article provides strong support for Breeze’s contention that there is room for an airline providing direct flights from underserved cities.

      I had imaged “underserved” cities being mostly those with area populations of under 1 million. But looks like there are some larger markets with pent up demand.

  16. Etihad is dumping its entire fleet of (19) 777-300ERs, which are only 10 years old.

    “You will see of us a very focused, a very disciplined operating model which is heavily built around the fleet of the (Boeing) 787 Dreamliner and (Airbus) A350-1000,” CEO Tony Douglas told the online World Aviation Festival.

    It has 39 787 Dreamliners in its fleet and has taken delivery of 5 of 20 A350s it ordered.
    Douglas said it was too early to comment as to how the Boeing 777X jet, which it has ordered, would fit into its future fleet plans.”


    With these cheap and relatively young 777s on the market, there’s even less reason for carriers to wait around endlessly for a 777X that will never come.

    • So they are reversing their previous stance of abandoning the A350-1000 order and sending the few it taken to storage
      Who knows what their plans are they dont seem to really have any and was throwing money at other airline investments.
      The A350K was a good replacement for the 777, often these airlines have
      fleet turnover around 8-10 yrs anyway

  17. The New Normal –

    The max groundings continue and the problem spreads – two weeks already – no end in sight


    The problem involved the electrical grounding – or connections designed to maintain safety in the event of a surge of voltage – inside a backup power control system. The FAA said Thursday “subsequent analysis and testing showed the issue could involve additional systems.”

    The FAA said in a formal notice to international air regulators that 106 airplanes are covered by the notice, including 71 registered in the United States. “All of these airplanes remain on the ground while Boeing continues to develop a proposed fix. The FAA is in contact with the airlines and the manufacturer,” the agency added.

    The FAA said Boeing’s investigation showed the issue could impact the standby power control unit, a circuit breaker panel and main instrument panel.
    The notice said the “FAA expects to issue an airworthiness directive mandating corrective action before further flight for all affected airplanes.”

    • @Gerrard

      Sorry – you were on it.

      I can’t believe it – everyone was saying ‘a couple of hours’ fix.


      • @Frank:

        The (mis-)information came from BA. It’s picked up as a circular argument by Corp. BA’s PR machine.

        “Boeing told airlines a fix could take hours or a few days per airplane, according to a notification seen by Reuters.”

      • FAA: Boeing still looking for a solution

        Boeing: The fix is dead easy

        • You guys are a hoot.

          The fix is easy, the approval is now an issue because you (Boeing) were sloppy with your change.

          Now you do have to go through all the approval hoops (and that is the right way to do it and should have been done in the first place)

          Me? Put a good crimp ring terminal on the end of that wire, polish off the surface it attaches to (or take back to a known good ground point) and tighten the bolt down.

          If they had done it right in the first place it would be a non issue.

          We have to think of this as Boeing’s magic power. Screwing up the simple and obvious.

          But the reality is you now have to spend thousands of hours to do something simple.

          I worked hard at doing it right in the first place so I did not have to do stuff like that.

          Can we get a claw back from Calhoun’s pay check?

      • Re: your comment above (again can’t reply inline) about Ky re-grounding the MAX: he’d be doing Boing a favor, in my view, because I sense (no, I do *not* wish) that another one of those things is going to do a third face-plant. If that happens, well..

      • As it is caused by a production change that took place in early 2019, probably a majority if not all of the around 450 produced have to be inspected.

      • O’Leary now expects at best breakeven for the year to March 2022, dialing back his always bullish forecast.

        Is he still on schedule to take 16 MAX before summer?? Won’t it be convenient to let it slip to fall?

  18. When you got customers for the 737MAX like SW Airlines, you don’t have any great incentive to get going on the NSA. TODAY, CEO Kelly of LUV, stated how darn important it was to not be beholden to one particular supplier. He then spent the rest of this morning’s interview on CNBC, rationalizing the benefits of having nothing but MAXes in his fleet within about 5 years. I know commonality has its bennies, but with Boeing’s dismal track record on quality, 750+ MAXes is a tad precarious.

    • @Sam

      Could you imagine if LUV had only Max’s in it’s fleet, then the crashes happened and they were grounded for 20 months?

      End of airline?

    • @Sam1: And you’d think with two pop-top -700s and Classics with window line zips, Gary might have gotten the idea that the 737 has a long history of issues.

      • The earlier classic ‘depressurization’ issues just mean they retired them and with Boeings help and $$ bought up every -700 available.
        Now the -700 has its own early life fuselage issues….lucky the Max order book has ‘gaps’ now.

    • You think Kelly is sticking around for five more years??
      It’s easier to kick the can down the road and let the next guy handle the hot potato.

      • I actually could not not believe my hearing when he sounded almost joyful that he would have nothing but MAXes flying for his Airline. I guess the only other major carrier potentially in the same position would be Ryanair. They must be getting quite a deal, or as the reports have stated, the sales are directly tied to compensation for the grounding.

    • Previously were options announced in 2017 – 100 orders, 100 options or their new fangled name – purchase rights.
      I suppose it just the next step of the odering cycle where they have to pay some money up front or they lose their place in the skyline

    • @ Pedro
      I wonder will Delta also take any/all of the LATAM A350s?
      And if not, then who will snap them up?

      • A rational person would interpret Pedro’s message as yet another indication of China’s rapid aviation market growth — which is of great significance in determining future sales (or lack thereof) of aviation OEMs. And/or as an indication of the relatively low impact of CoViD on Chinese aviation.

        However, someone stuck back in the 50s would predictably make a sulking remark — probably accompanied by irrelevant but self-reassuring sentiment along the lines of “yeah, but we got to the moon first”.

        • @Bryce

          To fill the BAPR shoes of the late @Rob one must be irrational sulky yet superior yet craven

          And always misinformed misguided and wrong

        • @Bryce: There’s this deep-seated fear that make a trigger-happy crowd.

          Yellow cake and axis of evil were excuses good enough to show the world who was in charge, ignoring well-established international law or order.

      • @DoU

        Please do not make such tedious non comments

        This what got the previous BAPR suspended or maybe it looks now more like banned

        Instead you could discuss the relevance of the post as to the economics of pax traffic through US and/or China airports, etc etc

        This would be useful – bitchy sniping is useless

        • Once again, the team uses its all too common shanzhai approach.
          No one is fooled guys

          • It seems that “shanzhai” is the new [Edited]Rob “word of the week” 😄

          • Your ‘crew’ is copying each others comments….
            Pedro can speak for himself and admit he made the airport comment out of pride….or does he need ‘re-education’

        • @Gerrard: Even a reporter from ATL can’t escape the scrutiny of speech police. Not a word bad can be leaked otherwise you’re the enemy of the state.

          • @Pedro @Bryce

            Opposite or different points of view are not a problem, are welcome even, especially those from the Corporate or Management class

            Indeed they are useful if well written and expressed – they give us an insight into what has gone wrong and why in a very important sector of the economy and administration

            The previous representative of this position (usually) did give what appeared consistent and accurate expression to this class

            However this mindset often refuses/reviles debate and when challenged, as here, takes recourse in trivial derision

            So then these representatives are of no use and should be replaced by more professional defenders of the corporate

      • @Pedro

        In China the air network is under pressure from the High Speed Train network, which threatens to take an increasing amount of pax from the airlines, most recently as per the Beijing Shanghai train speed upgrade

        Such pressure does not and will not exist in the USA: not only is there no ability to build HSR (see the California fail) there is, as with the interstate road system, powerful lobbies involved in maintaining the status quo

        Lina Khan’s take on infrastructure is interesting because of her position within the administration – one of the very few people to argue for the importance of rebuilding network infrastructure and not privatising

      • @ Pedro
        Your listing makes it all the more clear how COMAC can (initially) thrive based purely on servicing the Chinese domestic market. Same land area as the USA, but 4 times as many people –> a goldmine.

  19. Bloomberg: Pentagon Is Seen Short $7.1 Billion on What It Needs to Fly F-35

    More Than 40% of US F-35 Jets Face Grounding Threat By End of Decade – GAO


    Sustainment Becoming Most Profitable Part of F-35 for Lockheed Martin

    • @Pedro

      It’s a savage contest between BA and LM as to which company can build the most overpriced and most underperforming non combat military plane

      It has come to this – virtual warfare – only paying pax get killed

  20. Regarding the nature of Industrial Technology IP and Copying

    A reminder that the point and purpose of industrial technology and manufacture is to copy

    « The United States transitioned from an agrarian backwater into an industrialized superstate in a rapid timeframe. One of the most decisive men in America’s industrialization was Samuel Slater.
    As a young man, Slater worked in Britain’s advanced textile mills. He chafed under Britain’s rigid class system, believing he was being held back. So he moved to Rhode Island.

    Once in America, Slater built the country’s first factory based entirely on that which he had learned from working in England’s textile mills – violating a British law that forbade its citizens from proliferating advanced British textile production to other countries.

    Samuel Slater is still revered in the United States as the “Father of the American Factory System.” In Britain, if he is remembered at all, he is known by the epithet of “Slater the Traitor.”
    After all, Samuel Slater engaged in what might today be referred to as “industrial espionage.” Without Slater, the United States would likely not have risen to become the industrial challenger to British imperial might that it did in the 19th century. Even if America had evolved to challenge British power without Slater’s help, it is likely the process would have taken longer than it actually did. «

    What else did the US steal?

    • Back to square one!
      Boeing might be wise to steal IRKUT MC21 design.
      There is probably a better design know how in Russia than in Seattle, now that all experienced BCA designers have been retired or fired these last 15 years.
      MC21 technology is virtually as good as A220s
      MC21 family features compete very well with A320s

      • You would have to steal a lot and if you can’t design to that standard, your engineers are sure not going to be able to copy it (you need the recipe and the process)

        Equally, Russia has not proven they can industrialize the MC21.

        At one time it would have been an interesting joint venture but that is not going to happen.

  21. Dukeofurl said to Bill7: “If you dont like Boeings program accounting , dont buy the shares. Oh thats right you would rather have Uber or some other flash in the pan thats never returned a cent to its investors from its operations.”

    Please *do not* put words in my mouth, Sir; I am no fan of Uber or any such Skimming non-products, and attributing ideas that are not mine to me reminds me way too much of one sometime commenter here. It’s forced polarization: “agree fully w/ me, or else..”

    Regarding Uber™, see Hubert Horan’s fine, long series on that

    I want to see Boeing again become a decent company, and for as much MFG re-onshored as possible. Those who moved US MFG and jobs to Asia are traitors (amongst other things).

  22. Confirmed and the New Normal:

    EASA plans to “increase its scrutiny” of the 777X program following 737 Max crisis. Says: “we will indeed be conducting a more in-depth review of the aircraft critical changes as part of our lessons learned from the 737 MAX.”

    Follows comments from @emirates president Tim Clark that extra regulatory scrutiny was causing delays to the 777X program, which is in “a state of disarray”.


    • Excellent!
      Seeing as McB has lost the ability to design and build reliable aircraft, it needs stringent and incessant monitoring to catch short-cuts and flaws before they mushroom. Seeing as the FAA has squandered its reputation, other regulators will need to step up the pressure.

        • Tear and wear happens. In this case it is older pumps that should be replaced not brand new ones as on the MAX.

        • So simple to answer this question: remember to use the McB checklist!
          – Any accidents from this issue? NOPE (unlike 787 fires and MAX crashes).
          – Any major groundings from this issue? NOPE (787 and MAX have each had one full grounding and one partial grounding; no Airbus aircraft has ever been grounded).
          – Any production line halts from this issue? NOPE (unlike both 787 and MAX).
          – Any “open heart surgery” required to fix this issue? NOPE…just a simple part swap (unlike 787 interior stripping to get at inner fuselage; and one suspects that the electrical problems in the MAX will require cockpit stripping)
          – Any rolling EIS delays from this issue? NOPE (unlike 777X, which has now been pushed out AGAIN…this time to 2024/2025).
          – Any prominent customers in the press on a weekly basis to express exasperation at program status quo? NOPE (unlike poor Tim Clark with the 777X).
          – Any damning 53-page IG reports on Airbus? NOPE (unlike the one on the MAX).

          See: it’s easy when you use the McB checklist 🙂

          • FAA puts out a daily safety AD list, can be up to 6 per day .
            Includes Airbus new builds like A350
            This last week
            “20th April
            ‘The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that a welding quality issue has been identified in the gimbal joint of the air bleed duct located at each wing-to-pylon interface…
            Every one except the ‘knocking crew’ know that these are routine both for old and new models
            The A320 fuels pumps is for ALL recent ones, since June 2015, so must have been a change after that date.

  23. So what has changed in the last 2 plus decades ?

    When I say I changed the culture of Boeing, that was the intent, so it’s run like
    a business rather than a great engineering firm. It is a great engineering firm, but
    people invest in a company because they want to make money.
    Harry Stonecipher, 2004, former CEO of The Boeing Company, reflecting on the late 1990s

    They have changed my attitude to be “why should I care” and to look out for myself as management won’t. Also, Boeing is no longer a premium company to work for. If I can find something—anything—somewhere else, I’m gone.
    They got no loyalty to me, why should I have any to them?
    Technical employee, twenty-three years at Boeing,

    Grunberg, Leon,Moore, Sarah. Emerging from Turbulence:
    Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today

    Same GE- Jack welch interns in charge, same direction as GE, and same managespeak, but with lost reputation, ingtegrity, and Peter principle in full throttle.

    Now about the military industrial complex

    BTW China 30 plus years ago tried to duplicate the 707- not too successful-Dont think it ever flew more than a few times.

    And a Chinese commercial passenger aircraft with some even partial success is still in work.

    in ‘ work’

    • I have no firsthand knowledge of the Chinese aircraft industry,
      but still think that underestimating that county’s current prowess would be a significant mistake- regardless of past performance-
      after all, haven’t our genius corporate + Elite “leadership” been helping been shipping US know-how to that country for the last thirty-plus years? Perhaps, too, the interests of the self-styled
      Elites of both of those countries align better than than each of theirs with their respective proletariats..

      How it all looks depends very much upon one’s viewpoint, and I submit that a country’s elites no longer necessarily (!) stand for, or work for, their own country’s Common Good.


  24. When will the current administration turns attn. to aviation’s carbon foot print? What’s the demand: a pound of flesh or a pound of blood?? Will BA be the deer caught in the headlights??

  25. Aeromexico cuts 24 B737 MAX order and renegotiates for lower prices.

    • Correction:

      Aeromexico cuts *30* (not 24) B737 MAX order and renegotiates for lower prices.

      • One suspects that this will become a regular occurrence. Now that the industry knows that super-duper low prices were given to Alaska, Ryanair and SW, and since no airline is in a particular hurry to take new aircraft, why shouldn’t other airlines cancel and re-negotiate a new, much lower price?

        What’s scary is that BA will probably be tempted to go on a cost-cutting round in order to recover some margin to compensate for the low pricing. Remember how the first CD players in the 90s were made of sturdy, classy aluminum — which then rapidly morphed into cheap, wobbly plastic once price pressure arose from competitors? One dreads to think what corners will be cut in the MAX…

        • Bryce:

          Super low prices are not new, Ryan Air has made its living by striking when Boeing has surplus of aircraft and doing so.

          If the market takes off tomorrow and people want aircraft, the price situation changes to Boeing’s favor.

          What is different now is the use of over booking by both Airbus and Boeing. It was found they could do that as the market ebbed and flowed.

          Still at best they make about 1000 Single Aisle a year and you can’t magically created more (and currently a lot less)

          Airbus big gains are actually in the A321 (which is a longer A320 if that makes any sense, we should have an A350 and an A351 (and an A349) have to wonder if its a different model regardless they don’t have to re-pay the aid – it sure would be good to know what those secret agreements say.

          That is why the disparity is not worse for Boeing, Airbus could not ramp up and the incentive is to stay with what you have.

          If South West decided to shift fleets, it would take them 10 years to do it (or longer, you don’t just dump economically viable aircraft) nor can they get nor afford to replace all at once.

          Not mentioned is the price of oil has been going up and that means fuel is a bigger factor in the economics. So a MAX (if its flyable) has a return there better than the NG.

          What we do get from the current (pun not avoided) grounding issue (also a double pun) is that Boeing is not getting it and the CEO should be hit with penalties.

          That never happens, they pay the CEO big bucks regardless of how badly the company performs and then even more big bucks.

          Its definitely depressing.

    • To Pedro:

      -30 MAX , +2 787-9 according to FlightGlobal.

      On 22 April, Aeromexico said it reached “restructured agreements with the manufacturer and certain lessors”. It now plans to “increase its fleet with” 24 737 Max and four 787-9s.

      The airline, which is operating under US bankruptcy court protection, currently has 54 737 Max and two 787s on order with Boeing, according to Cirium figures.

    • Aeromexico emphasizes the swap (and lower prices of the 24 B737 MAX to be delivered) would save $2 billion!!

      Every customer of B737 MAX which hasn’t finalized a deal has an incentive to go back to renegotiate for lower prices, basing on recent deals of WN and Aeromexico.

  26. BA Bad News New Normal

    BA is not the only company or industry to suffer from lack of competent engineering or efficient manufacturing processes – this is general to the US

    Comments from the Founder of TSMC Morris Chang arm twisted to build a fab in Arizona

    “The United States stood out for cheap land and electricity when TSMC looked for an overseas site but we had to try hard to scout out competent technicians and workers in Arizona because manufacturing jobs have not been popular among American people for decades,” Chang said

    Ironically another of the main problems is stated to be US lack of HSR

    The comptetition ? Not Intel but Samsung – China is Five Years behind in fab but only one or two years behind in design




  27. @Bryce

    Re. India and ‘belittling’ by Boeing: Martin Consulting did not respond to my email asking for detail

    I am beyond the pale – pun intended – when it comes to such long distance phone calls – but if you are really motivated you could call them – they are somewhere out in the classic West, phone is on their website


    • Mmhhh…that’s a pity 😒
      No doubt we’ll get more details soon…it will be hard to keep a lid on something like this…

      • When you read it , you’ll find out it was some petty bureaucrats asking the Boeing reps for the obvious….a common occurrence worldwide. But it wasnt insulting. I have my own stories or worse dealing with that ‘type’

        • More rhetoric reminiscent of The R.o.B.
          Whatever it was, it ticked off a fifth of the world’s population, so McB might want to improve its diplomacy and communication skills (in addition to its engineering skills).

      • @Gerrard @bryce:

        Am I surprised? No. Haven’t we seen posters here still trying to lay blame of the two 737 MAX crashes on those poor pilots??

        Now all the Corp. PR machine can respond is distraction and more distraction, mind you.

        • @Pedro

          Now Worries-

          These guys from BA PR get themselves banned quickly enough

      • It was ‘between them’ ( internal Boeing documents) not to the DGCA representatives as you falsely claim

        • @ R.o.B.
          If B1 makes a derogatory remark to B2 about D, and that remark is subsequently published, then D has every right to feel belittled. There’s no “false claim” here: there’s only a quote from an article written by a consultant, relating to published documents. You’ve indicated in the past that you’re allergic to “linkers”, so your stance doesn’t come as a surprise.

          It’s quite obvious that you’re raging about the fact that India has impeded the un-grounding of the glorious MAX, and is only allowing over-fly. But ranting about pilot licenses in India is not going to change that situation at all: for anyone at the DGCA who may be reading LNA, it just reinforces the idea that India is being looked down on by BA and its acolytes.

          • Boeing staff have also been hauled over the coals on their ‘chatter’ about FAA staff as well as Boeings people –
            Remember the ‘clowns’ , ‘monkeys’, ‘dogs watching TV’ comments revealed from last year …apparently not , so spare us the shock jock outrage. But you and your ‘crew’ have your agenda of belittling and mindless derogatory stuff, go figure, its only bad when Boeing staff do it amoung themselves

      • @Bryce

        Thanks for digging this up – interesting to learn the precise context in which BA used the contemptuous language already widely quoted

        The one explains the other – brown skinned country explains imperialist fantasy language

        The Indian word for gringo is less indulgent

        PS Ignore stupidities from BA PR

  28. DGCA has bigger problems…corruption
    Arrests in India fake pilot’s licence scandal
    ‘Officials say that the licences of 3,000 to 4,000 pilots are being scrutinised by the DGCA.’

  29. Interesting article from a few days ago on CNN, relating to the electrical issues in the MAX. Of particular interest are the following quotes:

    “After the latest grounding, Boeing and the airlines have not given guidance for when they expect the planes back in the air”

    “If history is a guide, the new grounding could take a while. Throughout the 20-month grounding, Boeing repeatedly gave estimates for when the plane would be allowed to fly again that proved way too optimistic.”

    “They haven’t covered themselves in glory with transparency,” said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. “It doesn’t look like something that would necessitate a design change or major surgery. But given the history, it pays to be wary.””


    • “..The good news is that this problem was discovered without either a crash or other safety incident that could have be devastating for the already troubled jet, Aboulafia said..”


        • > Anyone saying anything about ‘crashes averted’ for those safety problems. <

          Assuming that this is a question: the 737MAX has a short and troubled history, not to mention its maker's issues on other programs, so extra scrutiny of the 737MAX is merited.

          Apparently, after first claiming that the issues were minor
          and would be quickly resolved, there is now no timeline
          for the return of the affected MAXes to service.

          Info to the contrary is welcome.

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