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Electrical issue grounds dozens of newly delivered Boeing planes

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

Boeing warned airlines of a potential electrical issue in dozens of recently-delivered aircraft in a major setback for the plane manufacturer.

American airplane maker Boeing warned 16 customers that they must address an electrical “ground path” issue before operating the planes, according to a Friday press release. The issue is potentially present in the company’s Boeing 737 MAX jets, which have faced a series of issues since they were introduced years ago.

“We are working closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on this production issue,” Boeing said in a statement.

The FAA said it would work to “ensure the issue is addressed,” according to Bloomberg.

“The fix seems to be well understood and timing would depend on availability of technicians and equipment access,” said Sheila Kahyaoglu, a Jefferies analyst specializing in Boeing, Bloomberg reported. “Changing the equipment could take hours or days to fix, a modest disruption.”

American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines grounded a total of 67 planes Friday, according to Bloomberg. The parked aircraft represent about a third of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet.

In 2019, flights were suspended after it was determined flaws in the 737 MAX system had caused multiple crashes and hundreds of deaths. The FAA approved the plane to re-enter circulation in November 2020.

In February, two Boeing planes suffered significant engine failures and had to be grounded. Both the first flight, a passenger plane that departed Denver, Colorado, and the second, a cargo plane headed to New York from the Netherlands, had to conduct emergency landings after their engines exploded mid-flight.

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