IATA is holding its annual meeting in Seoul this weekend in the industry’s biggest gathering since the two crashes in October and March that killed 346 people. The accidents, both involving Boeing Co.’s Max jetliner, have pushed the world’s biggest aircraft maker into one of its biggest crises. That also put the industry’s “reputation on the spotlight,” de Juniac said.
Halting of Boeing’s fastest-selling jet has triggered probes by regulators and calls for compensation from airline customers. The IATA chief didn’t elaborate on the financial impact of the fatal crashes.
Boeing also faces a criminal probe, as well as civil inquiries from the US Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission for its role in the accidents and close ties to federal regulators. Civil aviation authorities around the world have yet to agree on required fixes and the jet’s re-entry into service. De Juniac said on May 30 that the Max isn’t likely to return to the skies for at least 10 to 12 weeks.
“Trust in the certification system has been damaged -- among regulators, between regulators and the industry and with the flying public,” de Juniac said in a speech on Sunday in Seoul. “While Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration are at center stage, the close collaboration of counterpart manufacturers and civil aviation authorities around the world is essential. Any rift between regulators is not in anybody’s interest.”
US carriers including American Airlines Group Inc. have warned of headwinds arising from the industry turmoil. China’s airlines have sought compensation from Boeing as the grounding of its Max jet is on track to result in losses of more than $500 million for the carriers.