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> I think it's possible that the Max will never fly again.

Call me cynical, but I believe this is not possible. It may be upgraded, rebranded, recertified, and they may retrain everyone who may come anywhere near its cockpit, but they can't just drop the plane for three reasons:

1. They already sold too many. Those customers will want a refund, and will have a major loss of faith into Boeing. Unless there is a replacement plane to give but ...

2. They don't have any replacement. They don't have anything to put in that slot. And it's already a plane they had to rush because a) it's the main seller, and b) the competition (A320 Neo) is a very good plane in that slot.

3. Like said above, it's the major seller. It has how many thousands of orders and how many years of wait to get your planes already ? And nobody cancelled to move to airbus because they're just as backlogged. So neither Boeing, nor the airlines, nor the US government want it / can afford for it to disappear, they want it fixed, anyway possible.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in a perfect world it should be grouded forever and be remembered as a huge warning lesson, but this will never happen.

The real question is, why aren't Airbus and Boeing massively increasing their production capacity for those lines ? Feels like they've been been backlogged since forever, and it's only getting worse. I get that you can't create a new set of factory and their trained workers overnight, but we're talking decade here.




Alot of these problems seem to ultimately trace back to overconsolidation of these manufacturers. The possibility that passengers will be subjected to unsafe aircraft because Boeing is too big to fail is unacceptable. If they are unable to move fast enough to cope with the changing market, pethaps they should be split up.

Ultimately we may be moving toward a taxpayer bailout of Boeing. Instead of doing that why not take that money any fund grants to help rediversify the market?


They are only "too big to fail" because the safety standards for airline travel are so high especially considering their market size. Compare it to driving: the global airline market in 2019 is expected to be 856 billion USD [0] while the US new car sale market alone was 956 billion USD in 2019 [1] which does not include other markets, the energy to power cars, nor the labor costs for driving so the car industry is way bigger. This table [2] says airlines are 62 times safer per km traveled.

I don't see how you could have a competitive market like cars when the safety standards are an order of magnitude higher than driving and yet probably an order of magnitude smaller in size.

[0]: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278372/revenue-of-commer...

[1]: https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-trends/market-research-re...

[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_safety#Transport_comp...


Deaths per kilometer is not a good metric when comparing safety between methods of transportation. You'd rather look at deaths per journey, and suddenly car travel looks very safe.

It's also worth considering that car crashes are disproportionately caused by drunk and teenage drivers. If you are between 25 and 70, drive in the daytime and don't drink yourself you can beat the safety record of airlines! There's no need to argue for laxer airworthiness standards using bad statistics.


> Deaths per kilometer is not a good metric when comparing safety between methods of transportation. You'd rather look at deaths per journey, and suddenly car travel looks very safe.

Cars can travel extremely short ranges and extremely long ranges which skews their "journey" statistics as most people use them for short trips. Planes are only efficient at long ranges so "journey" statistics look bad but if everyone were to drive everywhere instead of fly, human fatalities would definitely go up.


Deaths per journey is absolutely dominated (edit: aka very low) by walking which is also completely uninteresting.

You can slice the numbers in many ways, but in truth you can only substitute similar distances between modes of transit. Aka you can’t substitute a 1km car trip for a 10,000 km aircraft trip. Making deaths per passenger distance the only meaningful metric.


> Deaths per journey is absolutely dominated by walking

I can't see how you came to this conclusion, I'd expect walking to be the safest by far on this per-journey accounting.


Re reading I see it’s ambiguous. I meant denominated in a positive light.


Ok, but then you ignore serious injury caused by cars, which is around 20x more often than deaths. And something you don't really get with airlines.

Cars are the deadliest thing we have in modern society.


> The real question is, why aren't Airbus and Boeing massively increasing their production capacity for those lines?

Because it's expensive, and times where their market isn't going so well will be coming, and the company that hasn't spent billions on production capacity it can't utilize is better off. More production capacity doesn't even mean they sell that many more planes overall.


And nobody cancelled to move to airbus because they're just as backlogged.

You must have missed this news: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/saudi-airline...


Oh they can make it so they can sell the existing ones, the big question is if they'll be certified as a 737 or something else.


> The real question is, why aren't Airbus and Boeing massively increasing their production capacity for those lines?

Both receive absolutely massive subsidies from their respective governments, to allow them to price-cut the competition. The governments are not willing to increase those, hence limiting the amount of under-market-value products they can deliver to their customers.


Do you realize that Airbus is not bound to a single government? There is France, Germany, Britain, Spain...



Ha, I thought the funding would be less obvious than in the US. Amateurs, everywhere! :)




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