Boeing CEO points to risk and responsibility in fresh statement

The US Federal Aviation Administration plans to revamp oversight of airplane development after the two deadly crashes of Boeing's new 737 Max 8

Boeing and the FAA have been under inquiry since the collapses and the plane has been suspended from mid-March after the fatal accidents that killed 346 people onboard the jets.

On Thursday, Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg acknowledged that MCAS, short for Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, was a factor in both crashes.

As airlines gear up for what could be a turbulent earnings season, Southwest Airlines, a major United States operator of the now-grounded 737 max planes, was hit with a stock downgrade by analysts at Raymond James.

Starting in mid-April, Boeing said, it will cut production of the plane to 42 from 52 planes per month so it can focus on fixing the flight-control software that has been implicated in the two crashes.

Of the 23 analysts polled by Bloomberg, 12 remain buy-rated on the stock, with 10 recommending hold, and two advising clients to sell.

"We will also work directly with our suppliers on their production plans to minimize operational disruption and financial impact of the production rate change".

Austin said Spirit is reducing contractors and overtime and suspending hiring to fill backfill positions, but not downsizing employees. In a statement, Boeing said, "The flight crew conducted various scenarios that exercised different aspects of the software modifications to test failure circumstances". "Our objective is to try and ensure that the suppliers and the supply chain health is there and that they have stability".

First-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to contract by 2.3 per cent from past year, according to Refinitiv data. He said he now predicts it will take Boeing until 2021 to catch up on promised aircraft deliveries. Nonetheless, the manufacturer assured that "the 737 program and related production teams will maintain their current employment levels".

Besides working on advancing and testing its software update, Muilenburg said the company is adjusting its production system temporarily to accommodate the "pause" in MAX deliveries. "We mourn this loss of life and we're going to do everything we can do to ensure that accidents like these never happen again", he said during a demonstration at the company's assembly plant.

Meanwhile the firm's board, upon the CEO's request, has set up a committee in charge of reviewing company-wide policies and processes for the design and development of Boeing planes.

"Safety is our responsibility, and we own it", asserted Muilenburg.

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