Should Boeing Ground Its 737 Max Aircrafts?

Modupe Ogunyemi
2 min readMar 13, 2019

We’re all still reeling from the shock of the Ethiopian Airlines crash just a few days ago. It’s such a sad, sad one…may the souls of Prof. Pius Adesanmi and all the156 people rest in perfect peace.

The circumstances of the crash are eerily similar to that of Lion Air which occurred less than 6 months ago; both pilots reportedly struggled with flight control before the aircrafts eventually crashed. Both aircrafts are Boeing 737 Max. Both were new.

While aviation authorities in multiple countries have banned the aircraft from flying in their airspaces after the sad Ethiopian Airlines incident, Boeing itself is yet to ground the over 300 737 Max aircrafts currently in use around the world. It has also not halted work on continuous manufacture and plans to fulfill existing orders.

On Boeing’s part, the leadership has reiterated its confidence in the safety of its aircrafts. While there is not yet sufficient evidence to conclude definitively on the specific causes of these plane crashes, I think the coincidences in the circumstances of crash are enough to make an ethical call on the rest of the 737 Max planes in service…at least for the time being.

The human cost is already too much, over 300 lives lost in both crashes…less than 6 months apart. One life lost is way too much, much less over 300! Admittedly, the business cost of grounding and/or recalling so many aircrafts may run into billions of dollars for Boeing. But, this is a company that made over a hundred billion in revenue last year alone. Besides, how much is a human life worth?

Speaking of finance, Boeing’s stock price is down 11% this week. Infact, it has had a 2-day price drop that was the lowest it’s had since 2009. The stock has moved from being a ‘buy’ to a ‘hold’. The actions of the leadership in the coming days will have a great deal of impact on the share price; they would either halt the slide or worsen it.

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Modupe Ogunyemi
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I’m a cocktail of: digital strategy, media & marketing, product management (I’m actually PMP certified), filmmaking (yes, I have produced a Nollywood movie)