The aircraft industry
The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 shows why a golden age for the world’s aircraft duopoly may be over
When a Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed near Addis Ababa after take-off on March10th,157 people lost their lives. It did not take long for the human tragedy to raise questions about what went wrong. That has fed a crisis of trust in Boeing and in the FAA, the American regulator which, even as its counterparts grounded the MAX 8, left it flying for three days before President Donald Trump stepped in, suspending all MAX planes.
3月10日，一架波音737 MAX 8型客机起飞后，在亚的斯亚贝巴附近坠毁，157人全部遇难。没过多久，这场人间悲剧引发了对问题根源的思考。这加剧了人们对波音和联邦航空局的信任危机，联邦航空局是美国的监管机构，当各国都停飞MAX 8时，联邦航空局仍然让其正常飞了三天，直到总统唐纳德·特朗普介入，才停飞了所有MAX型号飞机。
Mr Trump noted that Boeing was “an incredible company”. In fact the crash is a warning. After a 20-year boom, one of the West’s most sophisticated industries faces a difficult future.
The MAX 8 is one of Boeing’s most advanced models. Until this week it has been a commercial triumph, with 370 in operation and 4,700 more on order. The 737 series makes up a third of Boeing’s profits and most of its order book. That performance caps an extraordinary two decades for the Boeing and Airbus duopoly, as a growing global middle class has taken to the air. Over 21,000 aircraft are in use; a new plane is delivered every five hours. Boeing has slimmed down its supply chain and Airbus has asserted its independence from European governments. That has led to a shareholder bonanza. Their combined market value of $310bn is six times bigger than in 2000. And their overall safety record has been good, with one fatal accident per 2.5m flights last year.