Boeing: United Airlines CEO reassures passengers safety is ‘highest priority’ amid series of mishaps

Boeing: United Airlines CEO reassures passengers safety is 'highest priority' amid number of mishaps
Scott Kirby's letter comes as Boeing continues to attract negative headlines (Image credit: Rafael Ben-Ari/Adobe Stock)

The CEO of United Airlines has attempted to reassure passengers that safety is the airline’s “highest priority” after a number of “unrelated” incidents have arisen with its aircraft.

Scott Kirby today published a letter to customers stating “safety is our highest priority and is at the centre of everything we do”.

It comes after a Boeing B737-800 operated by United landed in the US state of Oregon without one of its fuselage panels on Friday morning local time.

The aircraft was carrying 139 passengers and six crew members – no-one was injured.

Also last week, a United flight from Dallas to San Francisco suffered a hydraulic leak, and another flight bound for San Francisco returned to Australia two hours after takeoff because of an undescribed “maintenance issue”.

Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, wrote to customers today: “Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, our airline has experienced a number of incidents that are reminders of the importance of safety.

“While they are all unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus.

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

CNN journalist Pete Muntean shares CEO Scott Kirby’s statement in full. 

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

The CEO’s letter comes amid ongoing issues at Boeing. The plane maker is currently under much scrutiny around its safety culture and production processes.

Last week, John Barnett, a former Boeing employee and prolific whistleblower was found dead in the US, days after having given evidence against the plane maker in a whistleblower lawsuit.

It was reported he died of a “self-inflicted” gunshot wound.