Trump urges 'rebrand' of 737 MAX, Boeing has other ideas

Boeing 737 MAX 8

Trump urges 'rebrand' of 737 MAX, Boeing has other ideas

U.S. President Donald Trump has advised Boeing "rebrand" 737 MAX jetliner after fixing it, amid two fatal crashes involving the aircraft.

However, Boeing has not yet submitted a planned software fix to the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency said in a statement.

The FAA's flight standardization board examined the company's software update and found it to be "operationally suitable", Fox Business reported citing a draft report by the aviation authority.

The negative publicity Boeing has received over the crash of two of its 737 MAX jets and the subsequent grounding of these aircraft could wipe United States dollars 12 billion off the brand value, according to United Kingdom consultancy firm Brand Finance, reported by Reuters.

"This has without a doubt damaged Boeing's reputation and we foresee a dent to the (Boeing) brand's value at over $12 billion", Chief Executive David Haigh said by email when asked about Trump's comments.

The new FAA report, issued on Tuesday, has deemed the aircraft's software "operationally suitable". The new software wouldn't go into as steep a dive and would alert pilots when there's a malfunction.

The details of the claim are unclear, but questions remain over who will foot the astronomical bill for parking the grounded planes.

The three requirements include re-approving airworthiness of the aircraft, implementing indispensable design modifications and pilot training, and solving the safety problems pointed out in the official accident investigation effectively and pertinently. Furthermore, the board said training "must address system description, functionality, associated failure conditions, and flight crew alerting". Southwest is another USA airline that has chosen to ground 737 jets; moreover, aviation regulators across the Americas have banned the aircraft from entering their sovereign airspace. No U.S. carrier has a specific simulator for the Max series aircraft.

The panel evaluated the software update to MCAS for "training and checking differences determination", the report said.

Returning the 737 Max to service will require many more steps than the report. Foreign regulators, which control operations in their own nations, also need to agree that the plane is safe. There's also the issue of public acceptance, as the crashes have influenced safety perception about the plane.

Reuters reports that Boeing shares rose two per cent following the release of the FAA review.

"Let's take this unfortunate coincidence and opportunity to clean house on this", said Dennis Tajer, an APA spokesman and a captain at American.

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