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The 737 Max is no longer Boeing's biggest problem, after yet another safety grounding

February 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18.6%. 1 min read.

The grounding of 69 of Boeing's 777-model jets following the frightening engine failure on a United Airlines flight out of Denver on Saturday underscores a larger problem facing the aircrtaft maker.

But now Boeing (BA) faces perhaps a more serious long-term problem: the near collapse of the market for widebody passenger jets, which is crucial to the company's sales.

It's the latest in a list of problems for various Boeing twin-aisle models — and the lucrative widebody jet business is important for the company, because that's where it holds the clear lead over rival Airbus, which is first in single-aisle jet sales.

And even before the pandemic and the 737 Max grounding, Boeing has lagged in the single-aisle plane market.

And with airlines moving toward using single-aisle rather than widebody jets on more routes, Aboulafia said Boeing's competitive disadvantage is a more serious long-term threat to the company than the Max grounding.

Beyond the existing Max challenges and new 777 grounding, Boeing has already announced plans to shutter a 787 factory in Washington state in the coming months since it needs to cut back production due to weak demand.

Aboulafia said these widespread problems don't mean Boeing planes are not safe.

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