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Saturday 24 August 2019

Boeing apology for 346 crash victims

Boeing chief executive Kevin McAllister has said sorry
Boeing chief executive Kevin McAllister has said sorry

Boeing has apologised to the families of the 346 people who died in two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Chief executive Kevin McAllister told reporters at the Paris Air Show the firm was "very sorry for the loss of lives".

A Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines went down in March, just minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board died, including Irishman Michael Ryan.

Another 737 Max 8, operated by Lion Air, crashed into the Java Sea in October shortly after lift-off in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

Grounding

Mr McAllister also apologised for the disruption from the subsequent grounding of all Max planes worldwide and to passengers planning to travel over the summer.

He stressed Boeing was working hard to learn from what went wrong but would not say when the plane could fly again.

Other Boeing executives also stressed the company's focus on safety and condolences to victims' families.

Angle-measuring sensors in both planes are known to have malfunctioned, alerting anti-stall software to push the noses of the planes down.

The pilots were unable to take back control of the aircraft in both cases. Investigations into the malfunctions are still under way.

The world's aviation elite is gathering at the Paris Air Show with safety concerns on many minds after the two tragedies.

The global economic slowdown and trade tensions between the US and other powers are also weighing on the event at Le Bourget airfield.

Boeing had earlier said it was appearing at the show with "humility" after the crashes.

Its rival Airbus is expecting some big orders despite a slow sales year so far and is likely to unveil its long-range A320 XLR.

The event will also showcase electric planes, pilotless air taxis and other cutting-edge technology.

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