I predict that the decline and possible fall of Boeing won’t be arrested by this too little too late firing:
Aviation industry analysts said the sudden dismissal of Dennis Muilenburg, who had worked for Boeing for more than three decades, was a desperate attempt by the company to win back the trust of regulators and the public after crashes of its 737 Max aircraft led to the deaths of 346 people and accusations that Boeing had misled regulators and its customers.
This firing comes after news that recent testing of 737 pilots in MAX simulators showed that more than half of them responded to problems with the wrong procedures, even though they all got themselves out of trouble.
If you want to read a damning assessment of Boeing’s strategy around trying to make the 737 big enough to occupy the lower end of the market that the 757 used to occupy, Patrick Smith’s analysis is well worth a read. In short, Boeing missed the boat by not creating a 757 replacement (the never built 797), and the Airbus A321 is a better choice for the around 200 seat market for carriers that aren’t wedded to the 737 platform. The 50+ year-old 737 design is too loud, too uncomfortable, and doesn’t have the performance for the niche that Boeing is trying to satisfy with the MAX.
In addition to all the practical issues that dog the 737’s latest stretch, I think the real question is whether travelers in the US will even fly in the damn thing. My guess is that it will be actively avoided, and any incident, no matter how small, will be front page news. The 737 MAX is the Comet of US aviation.