Flying Public Has Mixed View Of The 737 MAX


The troubled Boeing 737 MAX’s return-to-service date remains unknown but two polls suggest the flying public has a mixed view of booking flights on the airplane. A UBS survey found as few as 3% of passengers say they’d pass on a MAX trip while a Barclay’s Bank survey said 44% of flyers would wait a year before boarding the airplane.

The UBS survey contacted 1000 U.S. residents and while 70% said they would have some hesitation about booking a flight on a MAX, two-thirds admitted they rarely check the kind of aircraft used. Only 12% of those with concerns said their worries can’t be addressed with continued safe operation of the MAX.

“The net result is the survey suggests 8% of the flying public would never fly the 737 MAX, but when coupled with booking habits also captured in the survey, the percentage drops to about 3%,” UBS says of its survey results.

The Barclay’s survey, conducted in early May 2019, found that 44% of the 1765 respondents surveyed said they would wait at least a year before booking on a MAX. About 39% said they would fly the airplane within a few months of its reentry into service. Caution is clearly not being thrown to the wind by most travelers. Only 20% said they would fly on a 737 MAX as soon as it’s back in service.

Better news for Boeing comes from a Reuters/Ipsos poll in mid-May that found that only about half of U.S. adults say they’re familiar with the Indonesia and Ethiopia MAX crashes and only 43% could identify the 737 MAX as the airplane involved.

That poll also found that 3% said the aircraft maker or model was the most important thing to them when buying a ticket, while some 57% said ticket price was most important.

Meanwhile, although it remains in the positive for 2019, Boeing’s stock price has yet to recover from its $440.62 high in March. It closed at $344.62 on Tuesday.

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