Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg went before the United States Senate Commerce Committee for the first time Tuesday and was grilled by lawmakers about the two deadly crashes involving the 737 MAX 8.
According to CNBC.com, senators conducting the interviews raised questions about Boeing putting profits before safety as it pushed to get the fleet of MAX planes into service, with some officials calling the aircraft “flying coffins.”
Muilenburg and other company officials have been accused of airlines/new-report-from-safety-experts-slams-boeing-faa-over-737-max.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>knowing about problems with the automated control system (MCAS), which was a contributing factor in both crashes. Senator Roger Wicker revealed messages between company officials that acknowledged MCAS issues and showed “a disturbing level of casualness and flippancy.”
Another senator, Richard Blumenthal, accused Boeing of airlines/engineer-claims-boeing-prioritized-cost-over-safety-during-737-max-development.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>rushing the approval process and engaging in a “pattern of deliberate concealment.” In response, Muilenburg admitted the airplane manufacturer made mistakes and “learned from both accidents and identified changes that need to be made.”
Muilenburg said Boeing has worked tirelessly since the grounding of the MAX fleet in March to fix the software that caused the deadly crashes and overhaul its review procedures. Lawmakers claim the delays in re-certification cast doubt on the legitimacy of the initial Federal Aviation Administration approval.
According to Reuters, Muilenburg will face a second day of questions Wednesday, specifically from U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. DeFazio said the committee’s lengthy investigation into the MAX has turned up significant questions about Boeing’s decision-making.
As for the grounded MAX fleet and the impacted carriers, Southwest Airlines announced earlier in October that it extended its 737 flight cancellations until February 8, 2020. American Airlines also extended its MAX cancellations through at least January 15.
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Expedia Group Lends a Hand With $275 Million Program
Expedia Group has announced its commitment of $275 million USD to help partners rebound from the impact of COVID-19 and fuel industry-wide recovery efforts.
Expedia Group’s recovery program is comprised of global initiatives to support industry recovery and property-level relief designed to help independent partners and small chains rebuild their business, attract high-value guests, and optimize cash flow.
Below are some of the program highlights.
To Restore Partners:
– Expedia Group is committing $250 million in marketing credits and financial relief. For each property that participates in the program, the company will reinvest 25% of the compensation earned in 2019 from the property into marketing credits for use with Expedia Group.
– To better understand when demand will return to a market, Expedia Group is providing proprietary data to track trends through a new analytics tool called Market Insights. The dynamic dashboard provides trends on website traffic, stay dates, and demand source markets.
– To support chains and owner groups, Expedia Group released a streamlined version of its optimized distribution solution that allows lodging suppliers to more effectively manage the distribution of wholesale rates among third party travel providers.
To Restore Destinations:
– To re-ignite demand through market awareness, Expedia Group Media Solutions is opening a $25 million fund for destinations. This recovery plan focuses on destination-led and co-op campaigns, which bring together destination and supply partners with similar audiences to manage their advertising spend while maximizing their conversions.
– To keep travel top of mind, Expedia Group is rolling out a series of global brand campaigns. For example, an online campaign from Media Solutions called Where Next? helps customers discover new destinations.
To Restore the Industry:
– To help furloughed and displaced workers advance during this time, Expedia Group has created a complimentary training and education program called Expedia Group Academy. The program offers skill development through online learning modules and live content led by Expedia Group subject matter experts and travel industry leaders.
– To ensure customers can book with confidence, Expedia Group created a new feature for lodging partners to highlight the health and hygiene measures at their properties.
– To meet the needs of cautious customers and ensure booking flexibility, nearly 70% of lodging rate plans on Expedia Group sites are now refundable.
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