Thursday, August 22, 2019

'Win back confidence of people; flyers must feel safe in 737 Max,' cautious India tells Boeing

New Delhi: “You have to win back passenger confidence. Travellers must feel safe inside the Boeing 737 Max whenever it flies again.” This was India’s terse message to Boeing for the B737 Max when the US major made a presentation to aviation regulators of Asia-Pacific region in Kathmandu earlier this week.

Boeing estimates these planes, about 400 of which have been grounded globally since this March after 346 people were killed in two crashes, to resume flying by the year-end if all regulatory approvals are in place for the Max's updated systems by then.

India will adopt a “wait and watch” policy and be in no hurry to allow the plane to fly again in its skies till — and if — it is proven safe. Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar, in fact, asked Boeing to “win back passenger confidence.”

“Kumar told Boeing that the safety of the aircraft has to be established very clearly so that people flying it feel safe. Global regulators will do their own checks and validations. But Boeing will need to instil confidence of the flying public in this plane again,” said sources.

Boeing said in a statement: “Our best current estimate is a return to service of the MAX that begins early in the fourth quarter. Our focus is on safety and ensuring the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public. Timing on return to service will be driven by the FAA (America’s federal Aviation Administration) and global regulators.”
22/08/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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