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Boeing Making Additional Software Changes to Grounded 737 MAX

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Boeing officials announced Tuesday it would be making two additional software updates to its fleet of grounded 737 MAX airplanes as the company works to gain regulatory approval to resume flights.

According to Reuters.com, Boeing said the issues involved possible faults in the flight control computer microprocessor and the potential disengagement of the autopilot feature during final approach.

The airplane manufacturer said the software update would remedy both issues, neither of which had been observed in flight. Company officials said they changes shouldn’t interfere with the forecasted mid-year return of the grounded MAX fleet to service.

While Boeing remains optimistic about getting the 737 back in the air, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed Tuesday it is still working with the company and that it “must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards.”

Sources told Reuters a critical certification test flight scheduled for April could be pushed back to May or later.

Boeing announced Sunday it would indefinitely shut down its Seattle-area airplane production due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The federal government also asked Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to accept federal assistance after he previously denied the possibility of government equity stakes in exchange for the aid.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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New United CEO Scott Kirby Comes Out Firing

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United Airlines’ Scott Kirby, who took over as CEO last week in the wake of Oscar Munoz’s retirement, is wasting no time establishing his authority.

Kirby cut 13 high-level executives in a cash-saving move on Friday as the coronavirus pandemic has throttled the industry financially. A day earlier, he told an online investor conference that the airline absolutely would not declare bankruptcy, and that he thought flying was safe enough to not block the middle seats on planes from being sold.

Well, he did build a reputation as an open – some might say abrasive – executive while at American Airlines.

Kirby is eliminating 13 of United’s 67 officer positions, all effective on Oct. 1. That’s the day after the restrictions on firing employees runs out per the federal government’s rules for airlines accepting billions of dollars in stimulus package grants and loans.

“While there are glimmers of good news in our July schedule — we expect to be down about 75% versus 90% right now — travel demand is still a very long way from where it was at the end of last year and the financial impact on our business remains severe,” United said in a written statement as reported by CNBC.

The cuts are in response to the loss of nearly 90 percent of business for United and all airlines, as the demand for travel has dropped dramatically compared to last year and beyond.

But Kirby defiantly said during the investor conference a day before that he has no plans for the airline to go bankrupt.

“Zero percent, no chance,” Kirby said. “It’s worse for shareholders. It’s worse for creditors. It’s worse for employees. It’s worse for every constituent that we have.”

To that end, Kirby also said he won’t sacrifice potential sales by blocking middle seats, as some airlines have done. As the blog The Points Guy noted, Kirby said the airline’s cleaning process, air circulation and a requirement for passengers and crew to wear face masks make it a safe experience.

“Airplanes don’t have social distancing — we’re not going to be six feet apart,” he said. “But an airplane environment is incredibly safe.”

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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