3 Links I Love: Boeing’s Fall Continues, A Big JetBlue Loss, Hawaiian Fights LAX

Boeing, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Links I Love

This week’s featured link:

Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design ChangeThe New York Times
What a painful article to read. It paints the picture of a company that is at best unaware of what is going on across all divisions. It sounds much worse than that. The FAA was kept in the dark, and it also looks like a “yes man” with whatever Boeing wanted. Boeing’s world of hurt continues… and it’s all self-inflicted.

Image of the Week: I’m working on a redesign of the blog, and it will likely see the header image go away after all these years. Many have asked me over the years where the original header image came from. Here it is. I took this on July 9, 2004 at Deadhorse in Alaska. Alaska 737-200C N741AS was built in 1979 and left the fleet in 2004. It served us well on our flight back to Anchorage. It appears it may still be flying in Congo… in theory. It was re-delivered to International Trans Air Business in 2013, but it could just be sitting derelict.

Two for the road:

JetBlue Announces Commercial Team AppointmentsJetBlue News
The headline makes it sound so routine, but buried at the bottom of the release is the big news that JetBlue’s Chief Commercial Officer Marty St George is done at the airline. Judging from the rest of the release, it looks like JetBlue has tapped three people (or 2 + 1 to be named later) to replace him. That feels about right. JetBlue is going to miss him.

Hawaiian alleges ‘discriminatory’ treatment at LAXFlightGlobal
I think this Twitter exchange summarizes how I feel about this.

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15 comments on “3 Links I Love: Boeing’s Fall Continues, A Big JetBlue Loss, Hawaiian Fights LAX

  1. Regarding HA at LAX, the DOT should look at their complaint – but I suspect that the “assurances” that HA thought it had about moving weren’t at all legal guarantees. Also, Delta paid for HA and every other carriers’ moves as part of DL’s move to T2/3 so HA hasn’t incurred costs to move – so far.

    They do have a legitimate complaint IF there really is no domestic baggage claim in a terminal they are assigned to use.

    Signatory airlines at every airport have say-so about how things move forward and HA, despite being a legacy airline with decades of history – does not appear to be a signatory airline at LAX.

  2. Why aren’t the Feds arresting and charging those who are culpable in the 737MAX fiasco? Also what happened to issues raised by whistleblowers in the 787 program? And how can Boeing be trusted in the future?

    1. Good question captain, I would say corrupt politics play a roll. Remember Boeing got the 737 max certified without going through the usual route as they had a cozy relationship with government regulators. This is the result of what lax oversight can do to an industry… the tail wagging the dog if you will & the corporations getting away with what ever they can.

      This reminds me of last Sundays episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In this episode the focus was on medical devices & do to what is known as the “5/ 10K exemption,” There are unsafe medical products out there that were never properly tested by the FDA. Put simply if a medical device is deemed to be substantially similar to one already on the market, then it doesn’t need to go through conventional FDA approval. It becomes “FDA cleared,” an easy loop whole that can be exploited. In a sense this is how Boeing got the max approved.

  3. What’s the Marty St. George product innovation list?
    – United PS
    – United Economy Plus
    – United TED (?)
    – JetBlue Even More Space (Economy Plus copy)
    – JetBlue Mint

    Anything else?

    Impressive list. Wonder if any stale, rudderless airlines the the Metroplex are looking for a visionary marketer?

    1. Product is important, but so is network. Marty loves that dirty water, and JetBlue’s Boston hub reflects that. Too bad he wasn’t able to kill LGB before he left.

  4. On the HA/LAX story, they mentioned increased customer difficulty connecting to JetBlue. I thought B6 had also (tentatively, at least) been tapped to move to the MSC too?

    1. Cblock2 – I don’t think anything has been made official yet, at least not publicly. This presumably means JetBlue would have another place, but I don’t know any details.

  5. I flew on that plane in the congo in 2014, an interesting experience as all air travel in the congo is. Was a bit derelict though. I am pretty sure that International Air Trans Business is no longer flying, which is unfortunate considering what an epic name that is.

  6. I’m not in the airline or travel business, but everything I’ve read about the industry says customers make travel choices based on ticket prices, schedules, loyalty, in-flight amenities and reputation. I’ve never read an analysis or survey that says terminal location plays a significant part in planning a trip.

    No major change ever makes everyone completely happy. Hawaiian is facing more competition than ever, and naturally wants every possible advantage. But if they concentrate on giving passengers a unique and flawless experience, the terminal inconvenience will be a non-issue, and one that people will blame on LAX management, and not the airline.

  7. It seems to me that some people have been dancing around this item, but was Marty St. George pushed out at JetBoy?

  8. Hi CF, Over the years Boeing built a well-deserved reputation inthe industry for engineering excellence. Engineers were in executive positions and they nurtured thatreputation.  But about 20 years agothings began to change and the business guys began to take control.  The first obvious sign came when Boeing movedits executive offices from Seattle where the actual airplane building got doneto Chicago where they could be closer to the Wall Street money guys.  Predictably, the business emphasis becamemore about quarterly earnings and stock price instead of hardware.  Then Boeing decided to self-describe itselfas an aircraft assembler and the 787 program was subcontracted all over theworld.  The main thing that saved theprogram was that it was a brilliant engineering concept even when executedpoorly.  Then there was the tankerprogram that seemed to be more about politics than profitable airplanebuilding.  The 737MAX and MCAS are theinevitable fallout from the change in emphasis from technical excellence tobusiness expediency.  The technicalstaffs are working at breakneck speed in silos rather than taking the slowerpath of sharing information and getting peer input.  Boeing has truly lost its engineering mojoand they are unlikely to get it back without a wholesale house cleaning ofsenior management.

    1. About Boeing moving to Chicago: I worked for a major govt contractor headquarted in Washington DC. They split the company into two new entities. The larger of the two resulting entities set up its new corporate headquarters in a very expensive building with a long lease in a city 20+ miles away from Washington DC on one of the most congested travel routes to and from D.C. We wondered why. The Federal govt customers were now 20+ miles away and much harder to get to. Someone did point out that the CEO (of both the predecessor and new company) lived about 5 miles or so from that new headquarters building, with a drive that did not require using any congested highways…

  9. Frankly, I kept recalling this MAX story while watching last episode of Chernobyl.

    Why worry about something that’s not going to happen?” the KGB officer says.
    “That’s good,” Legasov replies. “We should put that on our money.”

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