Aviation industry tackles safety issues as travel picks up

Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Business News

Earlier in March, nearly two weeks before Calhoun’s announcement, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on CNBC noted Max development differed from Boeing’s past practices.

The Chicago-based aerospace company outsourced key components of the Max to a supplier, Spirit AeroSystems.

“I don’t want to say it’s troubling but it’s different than what they’ve historically done,” he said.

“ ... That’s where I think the FAA and everyone else is probably focused.”

Mayra Jimenez, a librarian who lives in Loganville, said her sister has canceled plans for a graduation trip with her to Miami “because she really doesn’t feel safe” due to the Boeing issues. Some relatives also canceled flights for her sister’s commencement in Atlanta for the same reason.

Jimenez, 31, still plans to fly to Miami by herself, but viral social media posts about Boeing have frightened her.


“It’s changed a lot of my perspective on flying,” Jimenez said. “And I just read about the whistleblower situation and, like, that made me even more nervous.”

Jimenez is not sure what it would take to make her feel safer flying but hopes the industry resolves its issues.

Though Airbus jets make up a larger share than in the past, Boeing aircraft still make up the bulk of Delta’s fleet. Bastian said he is “enormously confident” in the Boeing planes Atlanta-based Delta flies today. Delta does not have Boeing aircraft on order that he expects to be delivered over the next couple of years.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month, Bastian said there may be “a heightened level” of attention to aircraft incidents than in the past. But, he said: “I think the traveling public in the U.S. knows that the U.S. aviation system is the safest form of transportation there is. Safer than driving, safer than a train, safer than a bike.”


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