Will upgrade software in 737 MAX 8 fleet in coming weeks: Boeing

Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Chicago, IL, USA Mar 12, 2019, 08.11 AM (IST)

Boeing Co confirmed late on Monday it will deploy a software upgrade to the 737 MAX 8, a few hours after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would mandate "design changes" in the aircraft by April.

Boeing did not give any reference of Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash in connection to the software upgrade. The statement did express the company's condolences to the relatives of the 157 people who died, however.

The company said in the aftermath of October's Lion Air Flight crash it has for several months "been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer".

"The software upgrade "will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks," it said.

An Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 aboard and raising questions about the safety of the new variant of the industry workhorse, one of which also crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.

Boeing's shares fell as much as 10 per cent on the prospect that two such crashes in such a short time could reveal flaws in its new plane. Boeing, whose shares closed down 5.3 per cent at $400.01 in the heaviest trading trade since July 2013, did not immediately comment.

China ordered its airlines to ground the jet, a move followed by Indonesia and Ethiopia. Other airlines, from North America to the Middle East, kept flying the 737 MAX 8 on Monday after Boeing said it was safe.

 

 

Story highlights

Boeing did not give any reference of Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash in connection to the software upgrade. The statement did express the company's condolences to the relatives of the 157 people who died, however.