Calhoun takes over as Boeing CEO with transparency pledge
January 14, 2020
Longtime Boeing board member David Calhoun became chief executive of the Chicago-based company on 13 January, stepping into the spotlight amid a seething controversy while pledging to improve Boeing’s transparency and commitment to safety. But not even one day into the job, Calhoun faced a new controversy, with lawmakers pressuring Boeing to cancel a $7 million bonus payment that Calhoun is eligible to receive. Boeing says Calhoun is the right person to lead the company through the 737 Max disaster. “With deep industry experience and a proven track record of performance, Dave is the right leader to navigate Boeing through this challenging time in our 104-year legacy,” Boeing board chair Lawrence Kellner says in a media release. “We’re confident Dave will take Boeing forward with intense focus on our values, including safety, quality and integrity.” Calhoun, a 62-year-old former General Electric executive, succeeds interim CEO and chief financial officer Greg Smith. Smith took the company’s reins in December following the departure of former CEO Dennis Muilenburg. “Working together, we will strengthen our safety culture, improve transparency and rebuild trust with our customers, regulators, suppliers and the flying public,” Calhoun says in the release. “With the strength of our team, I’m confident in the future of Boeing, including the 737 Max.” But also on 13 January, several top senators urged Boeing’s board to cancel a $7 million incentive award payable to Calhoun assuming he meets goals that include the 737 Max’s return to service. “This reward represents an inappropriate incentive for Mr Calhoun to pressure regulators and attempt to rush the 737 Max back into the sky,” says the letter from senators Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey. “We therefore urge you to cancel this incentive payment immediately and cease all efforts to rush the 737 Max.” In response, Boeing notes the incentive payment is based on the Max’s “safe” return to service, stressing it will follow regulators’ lead. “The incentive award for Boeing’s new CEO, David Calhoun, will vest only after he has served in his role for multiple years and if he achieves a series of challenging strategic objectives across all three principal business units, including the full, safe return to service of the 737 Max,” Boeing says. Calhoun kicked off his new job with a 13 January letter to all Boeing staff in which he lays out priorities and promises to improve the company’s transparency and commitment to safety. “We have work to do to uphold our values and to build on our strengths. I see greatness in this company, but I also see opportunities to be better,” Calhoun’s letter says. “That includes engaging one another and our stakeholders with greater transparency, holding ourselves accountable to the highest standards of safety and quality and incorporating outside-in perspective on what we do and how we do it.” Top on Calhoun’s 2020 priorities is returning the 737 Max to service, which he says Boeing will accomplish by “following the lead of regulators and working with them to ensure they’re satisfied completely”.

Source: Cirium

​Lufthansa agrees to mediation talks with cabin-crew union
January 14, 2020
Lufthansa Group has accepted a flight-attendant union's proposal that a long-running labour dispute be addressed through mediation talks. Earlier this month, trade union UFO suggested mediation as a first step in preparing an arbitration process after two previous attempts failed in December. Lufthansa's chief officer of corporate human resources and legal affairs Michael Niggemann states: "We now make a large step toward UFO and are ready for mediation of non-wage issues." He adds, however, that the talks must "bindingly" facilitate an arbitration process to resolve the dispute, which spans 22,000 flight attendants across Lufthansa and several subsidiaries. Lufthansa has repeatedly stated that it wants to resolve the conflict through a "comprehensive" arbitration process. A meeting between the two parties and their designated arbitrators is planned for 16 January.

Source: Cirium

Iran admits shooting down Ukrainian 737 by accident
January 13, 2020
n a surprise move, the Iranian armed forces says it accidentally shot down a Boeing 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines on 8 January. The admission comes after several days of repeated denials from Tehran that it had anything to do with the loss of flight PS752, an incident that killed 176 people. The nation now says that the aircraft was shot down by a missile battery manned by jumpy soldiers nervous about possible American air strikes. Iran was expecting air strikes in retaliation for a ballistic missile strike it launched hours earlier against US soldiers in Iraq. Its ballistic missile launch was itself retaliation for the USA’s assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike partly in retaliation for orchestrating attacks on the US embassy in Bagdad. “Following the threats of the [US] President and the commanders [of the] military American criminal mob, in the hours after the missile strikes US terrorist forces’ warplanes around the country increased, and some reports of airstrikes targeting strategic centres in the country were reported to numerous defence units and targets on some radar plates,” the Iranian armed forces say in a media release posted to the country’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. “It has caused more sensitivity in air defence units.” The Iranian armed forces claim that after the Boeing 737 left Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport it began to fly a rotation that put it in “close proximity to a sensitive military centre of the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps].” The aircraft was “the height and shape of a hostile aircraft,” says the Iranian military. “In these circumstances, the plane was accidentally hit by a human error, which unfortunately results in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals,” it says. The admission of fault comes after several days of denials and insistence the aircraft had suffered unspecified mechanical problems. Tehran had said the missile attack allegation was “scientifically impossible”. However, circumstances surrounding the downing of the airliner were highly suspicious. After taking off, the Boeing 737 climbed to 8,000ft, but then quickly lost altitude and crashed into the ground while on fire. Pilots made no distress calls from the cockpit. Also, video on social media quickly surfaced of a missile flying through the night sky and striking an airliner in the area of the crash. As those pieces of information began to emerge many expert observers began to suspect exactly what Iran is admitting now: an ill-trained missile unit under high stress, and poorly coordinated with civilian aviation authorities, mistakenly shot down flight PS752. Experts believe the aircraft was shot down by a Russian-made short-range Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile battery. Iran pledges to carry “out major reforms in [the] operational processes” of its armed forces “make such errors impossible” in the future. The country offered “condolences” and “apologises for the human error.”

Source: Cirium


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