In the wake of a major disaster, words matter. And for Boeing to say it grounded the troubled 737 Max8 aircraft in “an abundance of caution” was a particularly unhelpful choice of words.
Within just five months, two of the new aircraft crashed minutes after take-off – in Indonesia and Ethiopia – killing a total of 346 passengers and crew.
Four days after the second crash – when more than 40 countries around the world had already banned the aircraft and Boeing shares lost a reported $35 billion in value – US authorities finally decided to ground the Max8 and Max9 models. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company supported this step “out of an abundance of caution.”