Thursday, January 17, 2013
Boeing's PR crisis keeps getting worse, and there doesn't seem to anything that can stop it. There isn't one problem with the model 787 aircraft but several. None of them at this point appear fatal but they prevent planes from flying and airline customers earning revenue. Now that the two largest Japanese airlines have grounded the craft, there isn't much Boeing can say other than it is working the problems and tracking down faults. Boeing doesn't appear to be worried over "teething issues", but it should be. If the plane gets a reputation as a money-loser or if passengers start to avoid it, the company's manufacturing business will take a major hit. It is understandable that in developing an entirely new and highly complex machine like an airliner that some elements will be less than desirable and will need changing or strengthening once they enter service and begin to break. However, one expects major systems to fault-free and the plane to be safe. The issues threatening the Dreamliner are fuel leaks, electrical fires and cracked cockpit windows. The company needs to act quickly.