Engine failure brings more turbulence for Boeing

Boeing is facing more trouble after one of its 777 aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing when an engine burst into flames.

Only a few weeks after the 737 MAX jet was finally cleared to resume flying after an hiatus of almost two years, prompted by safety concerns, Boeing is facing another “public-relations nightmare”, says Alan Tovey in The Daily Telegraph. The latest incident comes after one of its Boeing 777 jets was forced to make an emergency landing when an engine burst into flames, leading to “debris being scattered far and wide on the ground”. Regulators have insisted that all 128 of the 777s with the type of engine that failed be temporarily grounded and inspected.

Don’t panic, says Jon Sindreu in The Wall Street Journal. While this is “more unwelcome publicity” for an “already battered US aerospace industry”, it isn’t “another 737 MAX debacle”. The problem is likely to affect “only a small subset of the global fleet”. Only 8.3% of Boeing 777s use the engine in question, which is made by Pratt & Whitney (part of Raytheon). And the affected 777s are the kind of “big, old jets” that airlines have kept in storage in the pandemic, with less than half of them in use.

While the latest problems are unlikely to prove a threat to Boeing’s survival, they are still a “distraction” at a time when the sector is being “crushed” by Covid-19, says Lauren Silva Laughlin on Breakingviews. 

The problems underline how the attempt to copy General Electric’s focus on short-term financial performance has hampered its long-term prospects. The strategy drove its stock price to new highs under previous CEO Dennis Muilenburg, but these gains have since been wiped out. 

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