United’s CEO Has Apologized For Plane Parts Falling Off Mid-Flight Again And Again

Amidst ongoing problems at Boeing, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby seeks to regain the trust of its customers. In a statement to customers, he recognized the significance of safety issues in the airline business and acknowledged recent events.

“Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, our airline has experienced a number of incidents that remind us of the importance of safety,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a Monday memo to customers, per airline reporter David Slotnick. “While they are all unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the airline’s numerous issues, which prompted the recent message.

Even though it has nothing to do with United, the January incident involving a Boeing 737 door that fell off during an Alaska Airlines flight seems to have set off a media frenzy covering similar incidents at other airlines. The Dreamliner manufacturer’s passenger jets are at the center of it all.

United has not been spared since then. During an incident this month, an external panel fell off one of its jets in midair. In another, a tire broke off, crushing several automobiles.

Just one week had passed since the unfortunate death of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett when Kirby sent out his customer message. Barnett was found dead in the hotel parking lot, seemingly from a self-inflicted head wound caused by a bullet. In South Carolina, Barnett provided a statement disparaging his previous employer.

It appears that the airline’s CEO is keen to present a composed and worried image or at least demonstrate what aggressive measures the company is taking to tackle the issues with its planes, given the number of safety incidents that have occurred on United flights in the last month alone.

“Our team is reviewing the details of each case to understand what happened,” Kirby wrote, “and using those insights to inform our safety training and procedures across all employee groups.”

Despite specifically mentioning Barnett or whistleblowing, the CEO of United stated that he and the organization “empower[s] our team to speak up and raise their hands if they see something wrong.”

“You can be confident that every time a United plane pulls away from the gate,” Kirby assured customers, “everyone on our team is working together to keep you safe on your trip.”

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