It was long in coming, but Boeing finally responded to the crash that killed 157 people in Ethiopia with something that resembled accountability. It is a shame that it took almost a month.  For the families of the victims of an earlier crash involving the company’s top-selling 737 Max 8 plane, in Indonesia in October 2018, the wait for an apology has been even longer. The reputation of the company and its regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), probably will not recover anytime soon from the knock it took from their initial reaction, which sought to minimise similarities between the two crashes and showed a lack of sensitivity to the victims.

Although some countries, such as China and Indonesia, moved quickly to ground the aircraft in the wake of the crash in Addis Ababa, the initial response from Boeing and the FAA meant that the aircraft were kept in the air longer than should have been the case and even more travellers were potentially placed in danger. The c...

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