Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg announced at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Monday that he will be on the first flights of the Boeing 737 Max when it returns to service.
“We will have Boeing teammates deployed with our customers as we bring the (737 Max) fleet back up and that will include first flights for many of our customers,” Muilenburg said in response to a question at Boeing’s shareholder meeting in Chicago. “So it will include me and many others and we are going to be doing this in partnership with many of our airlines.”
The Boeing CEO added, “This is a really important part of showing our confidence in the product and I can tell you our Boeing employees are very supportive of doing that as well.”
Muilenburg told shareholders that he’s also participated on two test flights aboard 737 Max airliners equipped with the updated control software.
“I’ve been on two Max test flights already during the last three weeks,” he said. “One, so I can get some hands-on experience with the new software and listen to our pilots while they are flying it. Two, to demonstrate our confidence in the software.”
The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded globally since March 13 following the crashes of Lion Air Flight JT610 in October and Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 last month. In total, 346 passengers and crew were killed in the two crashes. Both incidents involved nearly brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 airliners that crashed after suffering from control problems shortly after take off.