Boeing CEO and President Dave Calhoun shared a message with employees that outlined the company’s response to the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 incident that saw a door plug blow off the aircraft mid-flight and the subsequent grounding of 737 Max 9 aircraft.
The statement came as Boeing reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 results. In the statement, Calhoun said, "Increased scrutiny will make us better."
The NTSB’s investigation into the incident is ongoing, but Calhoun said he could not provide a comment on a root cause or speculate a root cause.
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Calhoun mentioned that the company would take immediate action to strengthen the quality of its airline programs and its supply chain. These actions include adding additional quality controls and inspections at Boeing and its supplier, issuing bulletins to suppliers to reduce the risks of quality escapes, opening company factories to 737 operators for additional oversight, pausing 737 production for a day to focus on safety and quality, and appointing an expert quality adviser to conduct a review of the company’s commercial airplane quality management system.
Calhoun also called on workers from the factory floor to provide feedback, because they "know what we must do to improve better than anyone." He says leadership needs to understand how to help and encourage any employee who raises issues that need to be addressed.
The internal changes add to actions announced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal in mid-January. In addition to more quality inspections and independent assessment, Deal disclosed that Boeing deployed a team to work with Spirit Aerosystems to inspect Spirit’s installation of the mid-exit door plug.
Externally, the FAA announced that it would implement new oversight of Boeing’s 737 manufacturing. Regulators also approved Boeing’s detailed inspection process that will allow airlines to resume flying 737 Max 9 jetliners.
Calhoun said Boeing continues to produce 737s at a rate of 38 per month. However, the company did not issue a financial outlook for 2024.