How could things possibly get worse for Boeing?

Big Oops

While trying to get to a NATO conference to discuss the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken unwittingly became the latest — and perhaps highest-ranking — person inconvenienced by Boeing's string of severe blunders.

As CNN reports, Blinken and his fellow State Department officials were forced to travel between Paris and Brussels by car because his modified Boeing 737 jet, which is part of the executive branch's Air Force fleet, suffered unspecified mechanical problems.

Though the top diplomat and his attaché made it to Belgium without further issues, the incident highlights yet again how bad things are going at the aerospace manufacturer that's currently under investigation by at least two federal agencies, both of which were launched in the wake of that door plug that flew off one of its planes mid-flight in early January.

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed to the New York Times that yet another Boeing audit had found more than two dozen quality control issues at its manufacturing facilities and nearly 100 instances of alleged noncompliance with agency-mandated product manufacturing protocols. Less than two weeks later, company CEO Dave Calhoun resigned from his position at the helm of the embattled planemaker.

Since the door plug debacle, there's been an incredible series of other news-garnering instances of Boeing planes breaking apart or otherwise malfunctioning — and to top all that off, there has been sustained speculation about the alleged suicide of one of the company's whistleblowers last month to make matters all the worse.

Apples and Oranges

To be fair, many of the newly-publicized issues with Boeing planes occurred, as CNN notes, on older aircraft and are not related to the investigations in the company's manufacturing processes as they stand today. Nevertheless, the intensifying scrutiny certainly has harmed the company's reputation, and has even made some people — including those who previously worked at Boeingreticent to fly on its planes.

To add insult to injury, the FAA has also not certified Boeing's latest 737, the Max 10 series, for flight. As a result, United Airlines, which relies heavily on the company's wares and has only received a portion of the planes it was promised from the company, has asked its pilots to take voluntary unpaid leave for May and will potentially do so going into the summer travel season.

"We’ve asked Boeing to stop building Max 10s, which they’ve done, for us, and start building Max 9s," United CEO Scott Kirby, himself deeply embroiled in the Boeing washout, said during an investor conference last month, per Bloomberg. "It’s impossible to say when the Max 10 is going to get certified."

Given the way things are going, the United CEO's warnings are right — and it's also impossible, as he said, to know when things are going to calm down for Boeing.

More on Boeing: Boeing Can't Seem to Stop Delaying Its First Astronaut Launch

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