European markets have gained at the opening bell, with the FTSE 100 up by 0.5% to about 7,421 points.
Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 indices also gained 0.5% apiece.
London’s mid-cap FTSE 250 gained 0.4%.
Boeing found “foreign object debris” in fuel tanks of 737 Max planes
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Boeing has ordered inspections of its entire fleet of grounded 737 Max planes after it found debris in the fuel tanks of some, in the latest setback for the US planemaker.
It is still less than a year since the second fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max that grounded the model’s entire global fleet, and the company is racing to recertify with regulators that the planes can fly safely.
The fuel tanks are unrelated to the flaws to sensors thought to have contributed towards the two crashes.
Boeing built about 400 of the planes which it could not deliver to customers, and its orders have suffered after it was forced to cut back production at its factory near Seattle.
Specialist aviation blog Leeham News, which first reported the discovery of the “foreign object debris” (FOD), said the inspections would likely not delay the recertification. However, it would take a up to three days to inspect each plane because fuel must be drained and vapours dissipated before the fuel tanks can be opened.
Mark Jenks, the general manager of the 737 programme, said in a memo to employees that the debris was “absolutely unacceptable”. “One escape is one too many,” he added.
A Boeing spokesman said that the issue would not change the company’s belief that the Federal Aviation Administration will certify the plane to fly again this summer. An FAA spokesman said the agency knows that Boeing is conducting a voluntary inspection of undelivered Max planes.
In stock markets, equities in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia have for the most part gained on Wednesday, with a lull in coronavirus fears as the number of new Chinese cases dropped slightly. The Nikkei in Tokyo rose by 0.89%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.45%.
However, share indices in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell, with the CSI 300 index losing 0.15%.
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