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Another Boeing Executive Leaving as MAX Grounding Drags On

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The executive changes at Boeing following the continued fallout from two fatal crashes keep coming, as the company announced its general counsel, Mike Luttig, would retire next week.

According to The Associated Press, Luttig served as Boeing’s general counsel from 2006 until Spring 2019, when he became the company’s lead legal strategist and was chosen to advise the board following the crash of a second Boeing 737 MAX.

Before joining Boeing, Luttig served 15 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

“We are deeply indebted to Judge Luttig for his extraordinary service to Boeing over these nearly 14 years, especially through this past, challenging year for our company,” interim CEO Greg Smith in a statement.

With the news of Luttig’s planned departure, Boeing has lost another executive. Earlier this week, the airplane manufacturer announced Dennis Muilenburg was out as CEO and President, and the current chairman, David Calhoun, would take over the roles effective January 13, 2020.

In addition, Boeing Commercial Airplanes head Kevin McAllister was forced out in October and senior vice president of communications Anne Toulouse revealed she would leave at the end of the year.

Luttig’s departure also comes after Boeing released a new batch of “disturbing” documents to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Congress amid the ongoing investigation into a pair of fatal crashes involving the MAX that killed a combined 346 people.

The new documents compound previously released information suggesting that Boeing may have cut corners in the plane’s development.

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Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus

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A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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