Boeing Woes Continue: Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing

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Boeing’s safety is paramount to the airline industry. In recent months, several incidents with Boeing planes have shaken public confidence. Boeing and Airbus manufacture the majority of aircraft in the world. These companies produce not only commercial planes but also military planes and communications equipment as well as rockets, missiles, and satellites.

Boeing commercial jetliners make up almost half the fleet of all aircraft in operation worldwide. Boeing also offers the largest family of freighters that carry about 90% of all cargo in the world.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reported yesterday that a Southwest Airlines plane was forced to land in Denver on an emergency basis after the engine cover came off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. When the incident happened, the Boeing 737-800 was en route from Denver to William P. Hobby Airport Houston. Due to the damage caused by the accident, the flight was forced to return to Denver.

The FAA issued the following statement after the flight safely returned to Denver:

Southwest Airlines Flight 3695 safely returned to Denver International Airport on Sunday, April 7 at 8:15 a.m. The FAA will conduct an investigation.

Southwest Airlines provided a similar statement to Fox Business regarding the matter:

Southwest Flight 3695 returned safely to Denver International Airport after experiencing a technical issue this morning. The customers who were on the other aircraft arrived at Houston Hobby approximately three hours late. Our customers are sorry for the inconvenience, but we place the highest priority on safety for both our employees and our customers. Our maintenance teams are reviewing the plane.

Fox 31 reports that four Boeing aircraft have been diverted to Denver due to different issues this year. A United Airlines Boeing 737-800 flight from Washington D.C. to Las Vegas was diverted to Denver in January after the flight crew reported a crack in the windshield. A Boeing 757 200 from Boston to San Francisco was diverted mid-flight to Denver due to wing problems. The flight crew of a United Airlines flight, flying from San Francisco to Paris on March 29, noticed a problem in one of the Boeing 777 200 engines. The flight was diverted to Denver to fix the problem. This was a recent incident, before yesterday’s problem.

United Airlines is one of the major airlines affected by the Boeing 737 Max issues. United Airlines asked its pilots to take time off without pay next month due to Boeing manufacturing delays. The company stated to Fox Business.

We are reducing our block hours forecasted for 2024 due to recent Boeing delays. In addition, we will be offering our pilots a voluntary program in May to reduce the excess staffing.

Boeing has been told that due to safety concerns, it cannot increase production of its 737 Max aircraft. Regulators are investigating the company and its supplier Spirit AeroSystems after an incident that occurred in January. A Boeing 737 Max 9’s door plug blew during a flight operated by Alaska Airlines. This prompted the investigation.

United had originally anticipated receiving 77 Boeing 737 Max 8 or 9 jets by 2024. However, a recent filing with the regulatory authorities shows that it is now expecting only 56.

Boeing has suffered from a significant financial setback as a result of the Alaska Airlines incident. Boeing paid Alaska Airlines approximately $160m in compensation following the mid-air blowout which occurred in January. Boeing provided this compensation in response to the financial damage caused by Flight 1282, and the grounding 737-9 MAX. This is according to a SEC filing.

Alaska Airlines confirmed the $160 million compensation is for the approximate same loss they reported in the first three months.

We lost $160 million of Q1 profit before tax as a result of the Flight 1282 crash and the Boeing 737-9 MAX being grounded. This loss was primarily due to lost revenue, irregular operations, and costs associated with restoring our fleet to service.

Alaska Airlines has stated that Boeing will be expected to pay additional compensation. However, the exact amount is unknown.

Boeing faces increasing pressure to resolve internal safety concerns related to its aircraft. There are only two commercial aircraft manufacturers. The larger of the two cannot afford to have safety issues that could undermine the public’s trust in air travel.