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Embattled Boeing Seeks to Regain Trust Ahead of 2019 Dubai Airshow

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:16 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:16 PM
  • Boeing is readying the Dubai airshow, but it continues to face backlash for the two 737 Max jet disasters.
  • Investors have been giving Boeing the benefit of the doubt, but regulators and the general public have not.
  • Boeing will face fierce competition on Sunday at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, where it will attempt to save face.

Boeing has proven to be one of those stocks that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. And while it has not fallen out of favor with investors, its reputation among the general public has suffered a major blow amid regrettable revelations from the crash of two of its 737 Max airplanes.

Now the company has the monumental task of facing its competitors and potential customers at the 2019 Dubai Air Show, which is scheduled to kick off on Sunday. Boeing Defense, Space, and Security CEO Leanne Caret maintains that there is excitement surrounding the company’s military tanker , though chief rivals Airbus and Lockheed Martin will no doubt be looking to muscle their troubled rival out of contention. The burden of proof rests on Boeing to restore the reputation both of its commercial and defense products alike.

“I can share that there is significant interest in the region and around the globe, and again it just reinforces that the community at large sees the great capability of the KC-46A,” said Caret.

Perhaps. But there is also a cloud hanging over the head of Boeing’s management team.

Airshow Angst

The UAE airshow has been a boon for Boeing in years past, with the aerospace giant having scored its largest single-aisle jet order in the region just two short years ago. This year, however, the company’s presence is marred by the Max jet, whose grounding is going on eight long months. In a presser on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Dubai Air Show, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal acknowledged:

“We know we got to re-earn that trust.”

The question is can they? Boeing isn’t out of the regulatory woods yet, with the future of the 737 Max hanging in the balance and resting in the hands of the U.S. FAA as well as global regulators. And despite what Boeing officials have said, regulators are in no rush to certify the beleaguered aircraft .

Source: Twitter 

Another social media follower expressed further doubts, echoing the cries of those who would like to see heads roll in Boeing’s C-Suite.

“Boeing puts profits before people. This was made clear by the dangerous MAX 8. They intentionally hid software changes from regulators. The company must be broken up.”

And to think that the company is also in the race for the first flying car with the personal flight market, which is being hailed as the next big thing in airspace.

On the Line

There is a lot on the line for Boeing both as a company and in terms of this weekend’s Dubai airshow. Boeing will be showcasing its 787-9 Dreamliner and the 777-300ER , while rival Airbus will be pushing passenger planes A330 Neo and A320 Neo.

The pressure is being shared both by the company’s executives and its engineering team, the latter of which are being blamed by the Boeing board for wrong decisions that led to last year’s flight disasters. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has since reportedly decided to forego any bonuses or equity grants  until the 737 Max deliveries are on track.

As previously noted, Boeing’s stock continues to defy logic despite all of the controversy surrounding the Max jet, having helped buoy the Dow Jones to a record high of above 28,000. Check out the similarities in the pattern of BA and the Dow Jones.

boeing, dow
Boeing and Dow Jones comparison. | Source: Yahoo Finance 

So either investors are sticking their heads in the sand or they have just seen too many controversies play out before to be concerned. Boeing’s deals or lack thereof at the Dubai Airshow will give an indication of which theory is more plausible.