Boeing faces new turmoil after Chinese plane crashes

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Boeing faces new turmoil after Chinese plane crashes

Industry analysts expected the plane to fly there again in the coming months. But its return may be linked to an investigation into the crash involving the 737-800 NG, analysts said, with Chinese government officials hesitant to bring the Max back as they investigate the crash involving its predecessor.

The MAX crashes were directly linked to flight-control software known as MCAS, which is the only commercial airliner to use MAX. That system was introduced to the Max to make up for the changes made when the aircraft was upgraded from the NG, or next generation, line.

Boeing said on Monday it is in contact with China Eastern Airlines and the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency leading US efforts to assist China’s investigation into the crash.

The safety board said it had appointed a senior investigator as a representative for the investigation and that Boeing, the maker of the aircraft’s engine and the Federal Aviation Administration, would contribute technical expertise. Boeing also said its technical experts were “ready to assist” China’s aviation authority, the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The Boeing 737-800 NG is a worker of the skies. According to Boeing data, Boeing delivered about 5,000 aircraft between 1998 and 2020, far more than any other commercial aircraft. Along with Max, it holds special appeal for airlines due to its passenger capacity and travel range. Single-aisle planes are most commonly used for domestic flights, although some airlines use them for short international trips.

China is an important market for Boeing and its 737 family. According to aviation data firm Cerium, about 17 percent of the 25,000 passenger aircraft in service worldwide are Boeing 737-800 NG. China is home to about 1,200, followed by Europe, about 1,000, and the United States, about 800. In the United States, American Airlines has 265 service, while Southwest Airlines has 205, United Airlines 136, and Delta Air Lines. According to Cirium is 77.

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China is the second largest market for Boeing aircraft after the United States. Last year, the company projected that the number of commercial aircraft in China would double by 2040, by which time airlines would need 8,700 new planes, worth about $1.47 trillion.

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