Boeing surely finds itself in a big crisis PR event. Two of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft, their signature frame, crashed in the last six months, and now airlines in Asia grounded their fleet pending an investigation.
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both came to Boeing’s defense, though. Combined, these two companies own 58 737 MAX 8 aircraft and said they will flying them. That bodes well for Boeing, but the most recent event involving Ethiopian Airlines really got the flying public around the world a little bit concerned. Boeing will experience a world of hurt for a while. The company’s stock prices already plummeted more than five percent in one day, and it will take a very concerted effort to get out of this one.
In truth, no one really understands yet the causes of the most recent crash, but Boeing must play this straight. The company must communicate as transparent as possible about the information that they gather, the facts as they pertain to the crashes and any other information relative to the safety of the 737 MAX 8. Boeing must give audiences the impression that they understand people’s concerns about the safety of the aircraft and their commitment to the safety of the passengers who use their planes and the airlines who trust in their aircraft to put them in the fleet.
I think Boeing’s will come out of this okay, based on how American Airlines and Southwest are staking their brand reputation on the company. However, all three of those company’s brand reputations could go right to the trash heap if they don’t play a very open, transparent and forthright communication plan. I trust that Boeing, American and Southwest will do the right thing. They’re going to have to, because the flying public demands it.