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A panel came off the Boeing plane mid-flight on 5 January Alamy Stock Photo
Boeing Boeing Gone

Boeing CEO to step down following series of safety incidents with aircrafts

An Aslaska Airlines operated Boeing plane made an emergency landing in January when a panel blew out in the air.


BOEING HAS ANNOUNCED that its CEO Dave Calhoun is to leave his post as the aviation giant faces increased scrutiny following a series of safety incidents and manufacturing issues.

Besides Calhoun, who will stay in his post through the end of 2024, Boeing announced two other major changes to company management.

Stan Deal, Boeing’s head of commercial airlines since 2019, will exit immediately, while the company’s chairman, Larry Kellner, a former airline CEO, will depart after the company’s annual meeting this spring.

Replacing Deal will be longtime Boeing executive Stephanie Pope, while former Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf will serve as the new chairman.

The company has been hit by problems including a near-catastrophic incident in January when a fuselage panel on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 Alaska Airlines jet blew off mid-flight.

No one was seriously injured, but the plane was forced to make an emergency landing with a gaping hole in the cabin.

Calhoun called the Alaska Airlines incident a “watershed moment” for the company in a letter to employees.

“The eyes of the world are on us, and I know that we will come through this moment a better company,” Calhoun said in the letter that referenced putting “safety and quality at the forefront of everything that we do”.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said the management changes were “much-needed”.

The company said that delays with delivering Boeing 737 aircrafts have been “slowing Ryanair’s growth”, and it hopes that these will be eliminated under the new CEO.

US regulators last month gave Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan addressing quality control issues, with the regulatory Federal Aviation Administration saying the company must “commit to real and profound improvements.”

The company has faced questions following several other potentially dangerous episodes in addition to the Alaska incident

washington-usa-25th-jan-2024-boeing-ceo-dave-calhoun-leaves-a-meeting-at-the-office-of-senator-tammy-duckworth-d-il-at-the-u-s-capitol-in-washington-dc-on-thursday-january-25-2024-graem Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

In late February, United Airlines pilots reported that the rudder pedals of the 737 MAX they were flying were stuck after landing in Newark, New Jersey.

Earlier this month, United Airlines also discovered that a jet was missing an external panel following its landing in Portland, Oregon from San Francisco.

In another recent episode, a United flight planned for Florida returned to its Houston departing airport after experiencing an engine fire that was due to plastic bubble wrap ingested from the airfield.

Another United plane bound for Japan lost a tire after taking off from San Francisco, while a second Houston incident involved a plane rolling onto the grass while exiting onto the taxiway.

Also last month, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner being flown by Latam airline from Sydney to Auckland lurched earthward without warning, slinging some unrestrained passengers out of their seats and smashing others into the cabin ceiling.

Includes reporting by © AFP 2024

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