WASHINGTON – Boeing employees will still be allowed to perform some safety analysis on the company’s aircraft, but for three more years instead of the five-year extension the company requested, federal regulators have determined.
Federal Aviation Administration officials indicated Tuesday that the agency’s decision on the safety-related work was designed to keep a closer eye on Boeing.
Under rules in place for more than a decade, employees of aircraft manufacturing companies can be deputized to do certain tasks for the FAA. That practice came under more scrutiny after two deadly crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets and allegations that Boeing employees misled regulators about a key flight system on the planes.
Boeing’s ability to do that work for the FAA was due to expire Tuesday.
In a letter to Boeing, an FAA safety official said a three-year renewal was “more appropriate” than a five-year extension.
“There are multiple in work improvements that the FAA would like to assess within the Boeing organization over the next three years,” Ian Won, acting manager of the FAA office that oversees Boeing, told the company.
The list of items that the FAA wants Boeing to complete in the next three years includes ensuring that employees who help the FAA are protected from pressure by company managers, and making sure that Boeing quickly corrects any problems it finds.
Boeing issued a statement, which in its entirety read, “As always, we are committed to working transparently with the FAA through their detailed and rigorous oversight processes.”
Delta upgrades revenue projection by 8%
To hear it from Delta Air Lines, happy days are here again, with travelers gladly paying sharply higher fares to get on an airplane and go somewhere this summer.
Delta said Wednesday that it expects second-quarter adjusted revenue will be back to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, and revenue per seat should be up to 8 percentage points better than Delta originally expected.
Travelers are paying more for any type of seat, from basic to premium, CEO Ed Bastian said during an investor conference.
“We expect pricing this summer to be up probably somewhere between 25% and 30% on average,” Bastian said. “We’ve never seen anything of that scale.”
However, the Atlanta-based airline is facing surging prices for jet fuel. Other expenses – primarily labor – are spiking too. Delta expects non-fuel costs to soar up to 22% above 2019 levels on a per-seat basis, more severe than a mid-April forecast of 17%.
With the mixed outlook, Delta shares fell 5% in Wednesday trading.
The surprisingly strong rebound in air travel this year has allowed airlines to push fares higher but also left them struggling to handle the crowds with fewer workers than they had before the pandemic.
Staffing issues contributed to widespread cancellations and delays over the Memorial Day holiday period.
Delta scuffled more than any other big U.S. airline, canceling more than 800 flights during a five-day span. The union representing Delta’s pilots blamed understaffing.
Bastian said Delta’s corps of 12,000 pilots is big enough, but it will take eight to 12 months to train new hires and current ones who will replace the 2,000 senior pilots who retired or quit during the pandemic.
The CEO said the airline – which last week trimmed its planned summer schedule by up to 3% – is building more time between flights and tweaking its schedule at the Atlanta airport to run a smoother operation.
From wire reports
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