Today, the chief executive of Boeing Co disclosed that approximately two-thirds of the 737 MAX customers of the planemaker have participated in simulator sessions with a software update that was designed to prevent disasters such as the two recent fatal crashes that involved its best-selling jetliner.
In his first public speech since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX that killed all of the 157 aboard last March, Dennis Muilenburg, the Boeing CEO, said that additional tests are anticipated in the coming weeks as the planemaker strives to regain the confidence of its customers and the flying public.
Boeing is fighting its biggest crisis in years. It has been developing an upgrade to software that is under scrutiny in the Ethiopian Airlines accident and a Lion Air 737 MAX crash that killed all of the 189 on board last October.
The largest planemaker in the world is under pressure to convince MAX operators and global regulators that the aircraft, which was grounded across the globe last March, is safe to fly again.
Muilenburg did not disclose when Boeing will deliver the software fix to international regulators for their review, which is anticipated to last for approximately 90 days.
At a leadership forum in Dallas, Muilenburg stated: “We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us,”
The Boeing team had made 96 flights totalling a little more than 159 hours of air time with the updated software. Muilenburg said that he joined one of the flights during which the crew performed various scenarios that exercised the software changes in multiple flight conditions.
He stated: “The software update functioned as designed.”
Last week, Boeing reduced its monthly 737 productions by almost 20 percent, signalling that it did not expect aviation authorities to allow the plane back in the air anytime soon.
Boeing is based in Chicago. It has not received any new orders for the 737 MAX since the crash last March when the deliveries also sank for the previously fast-selling aircraft.