Just days after a Boeing 737 MAX 9 had its plug door blown off midair, the company’s CEO held an all-hands-on deck meeting with staff on Tuesday at the 737 factory in Renton, Washington to lay out how the company will move forward.
“We’re going to approach this, number one, acknowledging our mistake,” Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun said. “We’re going to approach it with 100% and complete transparency every step of the way.”
He also said the company will work with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the incident, to find out what caused it.
The company’s latest incident on Friday saw a plug door panel, which covers an extra emergency exit that is only operable on planes with the maximum capacity, blow off an Alaska Airlines flight that was at 16,000 feet and climbing to cruising altitude after departing Portland, Oregon, for Ontario, California.
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The loss of the door caused the cabin to depressurize, and the plane returned safely to Portland with no serious injuries reported.
With the NTSB investigating the incident, Calhoun said Boeing has an extensive history with the group and “they’re as good as it gets.”
“I trust every step they take, and they will get to a conclusion,” he said.
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Calhoun also said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be involved to deal with airline customers who want airplanes back in service safely.
That includes putting procedures like inspections and readiness actions in place, which are “required to ensure every next airplane that moves into the sky is in fact safe and that this event can never happen again,” Calhoun said.
Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are the only two U.S. carriers that use the 737 MAX 9, and both companies grounded their fleets, so inspections could be completed while the FAA and NTSB conduct their investigation.
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The MAX 9 involved in Friday’s incident had been restricted from long flights over water, such as to Hawaii, after Alaska reported pressurization alerts on prior flights.
The incident not only resulted in hundreds of flights being canceled, but it also caused the company’s stock price to drop over 8% on Monday, trading to a one-month low.
Still, images of the aircraft during and after the horrific ordeal show a situation that some only have nightmares about.
“When I got that picture, all I could think about – I didn’t know what happened, to whoever was supposed to be in the seat next [to] that hole in the airplane,” Calhoun said during Monday’s meeting. “I’ve got kids, I’ve got grandkids and so do you. This stuff matters. Every detail matters.”
FOX Business’ Eric Revell contributed to this report.