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People's Daily Online Commentary: When will Boeing confess to its sin? Safety never comes from words only

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    16:29, March 14, 2019

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 made two fatal air crashes within only five months, leading to 189 and 157 casualties, respectively. Dozens of countries and regions, including the US, have completely grounded the 737 MAX 8, according to newly released news. Nobody should take human lives or the security of citizens as jokes.

Earlier, Boeing issued a statement saying safety is Boeing’s top priority and the company continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. Nonetheless, confidence is not a slogan. Without reliable evidence to prove safety, this so-called confidence would bear out a traditional Chinese saying: whistling when walking at night is only to boost one’s own courage. This action not only deceives Boeing itself, but also fools customers and lacks basic respect for lives.

Boeing should reflect on themselves instead of saying nonsense or spreading the fake “confidence theory” out of basic humanitarian principles and even simple business ethics. Boeing’s words no respect for human lives and its “confidence” is filled with disregard, arrogance, and conceit.

Chinese often say that a stronger man has more wisdom and greater responsibility. As an important aircraft manufacturer in the world, Boeing has always been powerful in the manufacture and sales of large aircraft. The 737 family is quite appealing and global orders for the 737 MAX series are also impressive. From a common sense perspective, flight safety and human lives are most important. However, the two crashes have many similarities. For instance, the crashed aircraft were all new models of Boeing, all crashed shortly after taking off, and were all accused of fatal design defects. Regardless of the truth of these two calamities, Boeing should have the courage to face up to public concerns. Nevertheless, judging by the series of actions after the accidents, reactions of Boeing are totally not acceptable nor convincing.

The irresponsible responses of Boeing show that it prioritizes the company’s interests over human lives. The company’s annual revenue hit $101.1 billion, and its net profit reached $10.46 billion, with a 19 percent increase last year. Among the four major business segments, its commercial aircraft revenue accounted for 60 percent of the total, according to the company’s annual report. The 737 MAX is the world’s mainstream model and one of the largest Boeing orders, which may be the cause of Boeing’s attitude after the fatal crash, relevant experts said.

Enterprises should consider their interests, but such considerations cannot outweigh human lives. A company without respect for human lives and awareness of introspection will eventually be cast aside.

It is worth mentioning that China was the first country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8. Initially, China’s aviation industry had some controversies, but it has improved over time, which reflects focus on care for life and responsibility as a major power. Afterward, some 47 countries successively grounded the Boeing 737 MAX, a signal that this jet has potential safety problems.

It remains unknown how Boeing will clean up the mess. Besides the fall of its stock price, the world’s leading aerospace company also faces compensation claims from other countries. For example, Norwegian Air will send the bill to Boeing, according to its spokesman. If the ban on the 737 MAX has triggered a domino effect, will the claims worsen the situation?

The best solution for Boeing is to accept and correct its error and to ensure quality as well as safety. Just like the old saying goes, safety is the lifeline of the civil aviation industry. Nothing can be developed without a guarantee of safety.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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