Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2019 Contents VIEWPOINT
4 AsianAviation | May 2019
BOEING IS QUICKLY GAINING THE REPUTATION of the “gang
that couldn’t shoot straight” with the latest news that it has a FOD
problem at its 787 plant in South Carolina in the US. FOD, or foreign
object debris, has been found in many of the Dreamliners produced
at the plant (a problem the company is also facing with its US Air
Force tanker) and problems reached such a level that one customer
declined to receive any 787s produced there.
“A New York Times review of hundreds of pages of internal emails,
corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with
more than a dozen current and former employees, reveals a culture
that often valued production speed over quality. Facing long man-
ufacturing delays, Boeing pushed its work force to quickly turn out
Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by
employees,” the paper reported.
Boeing was relatively silent on the report
as this issue went to press, but Kevin McAl-
lister, Boeing’s head of commercial airplanes,
said in a statement: “Boeing South Carolina
teammates are producing the highest levels of
quality in our history. I am proud of our teams’
exceptional commitment to quality and stand
behind the work they do each and every day.”
As I wrote in the April issue, Boeing has a
lot of work to do to earn back the trust of the
flying public. So far, it sounds like the com-
pany is being run by its lawyers instead of its
engineers and safety officers. It’s not doing a good job of earning
back the trust of the people who fly its planes and fly on its planes.
Good news, bad news
First, the bad news: Why do airlines insist that when they set up
passengers to fight each other over an upgrade, that they call it an
“enhancement” to their upgrade system? Etihad is the latest airline
guilty of this bit of marketing sleight of hand with its most recent
announcement that it will allow passengers to use miles they have
earned to bid for premium seats in a higher class of cabin.
I thought the entire point to a loyalty system was to convince
passengers to stay with one airline because they treated you well,
not because you had to use your miles to fight another passenger
for an upgrade.
Etihad calls this new function a “choice” for its passengers and
a “new opportunity to redeem their earned miles is a sign of our
commitment to them”. The key word in that phrase is “earned”...
passengers earned those miles and they shouldn’t have to spend
over and above the limits set by an airline for a normal upgrade.
Making them use extra miles to outbid another passenger is simply,
in my mind, wrong.
Now for the good news. Etihad Airways did the world a favour
this past Earth Day in April by eliminating all single-use plastics on
a flight from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane. The airline said it was doing
this to mark Earth Day and to show that eliminating such plastics
can be done. The airline replaced most of the 95 single-use plastic
products used on its aircraft with eco-friendly
alternatives, leaving out items that could not
Items like cups, cutlery, dishes, headset
bags, and toothbrushes were exchanged for
items like edible coffee cups made out of natu-
ral grain products. The flight is part of Etihad’s
plan to reduce its single-use plastics by 80
percent by 2022.
“ The move by Etihad to cut many single use
plastics from its flights is welcome relief to
the many thousands of aware travellers who
do not wish to contribute to the flying landfills
that take off from each and every airport on a
daily basis in their thousands from every city and country on the
planet, contributing to the environmental disaster we now have
choking every ocean and street corner,” said Craig Leeson, the writer
and director of the award-winning documentary, A Plastic Ocean.
“If Etihad can do it so can every other airline. Cooking and serving
food in plastic is now known to be a health hazard, causing potential
endocrine disruption. Airlines should be responsible for the health
of their clients and the well-being of the environment.”
In other words, it’s a good start, but more needs to be done.
Matt Driskill EDITOR
FINANCE & LEASING
A look at the latest in AFIC
Are pilots keeping up with the
hi-tech cockpits of today's jets?
What are the APAC forecasts
from the main plane producers
Now for the good news.
Etihad Airways did the
world a favour this past
Earth Day in April by
eliminating all single-use
plastics on a flight from
Abu Dhabi to Brisbane.
Boeing, plastics and pax v pax
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