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Why the Boeing 737 Max has been so problematic

Just over five years ago, 346 people were killed in two plane crashes that happened five months apart in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Both were Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.

Then in January 2024, a near catastrophe occurred when a door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 plane at 16,000 feet, shortly after it took off from Portland, Oregon. A preliminary report from U.S. accident investigators said the door panel that flew off the Max 9 was missing four key bolts.

The Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the Alaska Airlines incident, and the Federal Aviation Administration said it found quality control problems in its audit of Boeing and fuselage maker Spirit AeroSystem‘s 737 Max production process. The FAA has said it won’t let Boeing expand production until it is satisfied with its quality control.

Boeing announced major management changes in the wake of the door plug accident, which has further slowed deliveries of new jets and sparked criticism from the bosses of some of Boeing’s top airline customers.

Dave Calhoun, who became CEO in early 2020 to get the company out of the Max crisis after the two deadly crashes, late last month said that he will step down at the end of 2024. Boeing also replaced its chairman and the head of its all-important commercial airplane unit.

CNBC explores how Boeing’s 737 Max crisis unfolded and what the future holds for Boeing’s best-selling jet.

Watch the video to learn more.


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