Blinken Switches Planes in Zurich as Boeing Jet Grounded

Blinken Switches Planes in Zurich as Boeing Jet Grounded

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to switch planes in Zurich on Wednesday after the Boeing C-40 he originally boarded was grounded after sustaining a critical failure connected to an oxygen leak, NBC News reported.

A new plane was arranged for Blinken, who was in Davos this week to take part in the World Economic Forum, but the press pool traveling with him was told to make commercial flight arrangements because the new aircraft was not able to accommodate them.

The incident was the latest blow to Boeing, after earlier this month an Alaska Airlines jet had a door plug blow out soon after takeoff, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the jet and leading to the temporary grounding of all 737 Max 9 jets, CNN reported.

That Alaska Airlines plane is a newer version of the 737 than the one that Blinken had been scheduled to fly on, which is an older model modified for use by the military.

Some $30 billion has been wiped off the company’s market capitalization since the Alaska Airlines incident, according to the Daily Mail.

Boeing faced further problems after Wells Fargo analysts downgraded the stock on Tuesday, citing the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) plans to review the company’s inspection of the 737 MAX 9 planes before allowing them to fly again.

“Given Boeing’s recent track record, and greater incentive for the FAA to find problems, we think the odds of a clean audit are low,” the analysts said. “The FAA’s audit is limited to Max 9 for now, but it’s feasible that findings could expand the scope to other Max models sharing common parts.”

The FAA itself has stressed that “the safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning these aircraft to service.”

Brian Freeman |

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

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