Boeing tweeted that it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew” on the Ethiopian Airlines Max airplane. The Chicago-based company said it would send a technical team to the crash site to help Ethiopian and U.S. investigators.
The U.S. aerospace giant said it would delay the ceremonial debut of its brand new 777X plane, which had been scheduled for Wednesday in Seattle, to focus on “supporting” Ethiopian Airlines in the wake of the weekend crash. “We will look for an opportunity to mark the new plane with the world in the near future,” Boeing said in a statement, according to Reuters.
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) March 12, 2019
The 737 is the best-selling airliner in history, and the Max is its newest version, with more fuel-efficient engines. The Max is a central part of Boeing’s strategy to compete with European rival Airbus.
Boeing has delivered about 350 737 Max planes and has orders for more than 5,000. It’s already being used by many carriers including American, United and Southwest.
The Lion Air incident doesn’t seem to have harmed Boeing’s ability to sell the Max. Boeing’s stock fell nearly 7 percent on the day of the Lion Air crash. Since then, it had soared 26 percent, compared with a 4 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, but in early trading on Monday morning shares in the Chicago-based company were down 9 percent.
A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said the U.S. agency was sending a team of four to assist Ethiopian authorities. Boeing and the U.S. investigative agency are also involved in the Lion Air probe.
The head of Indonesia’s national transport safety agency said Monday it would offer to assist in the Ethiopian investigation.