Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed in southern China

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Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) stock is down nearly 5.0% on Monday after its 737-800 jet carrying 123 passengers and 9 crew members crashed in southern China.

First serious passenger plane crash in China since 2010

China Eastern Airlines’ flight MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou lost contact with the ATC and dropped thousands of metres in altitude within three minutes.

The last time China suffered a serious passenger plane crash was more than a decade ago in 2010. On CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”, former Frontier Airlines’ CEO Jeff Potter said:

Chinese aviation industry has come a long way over the last couple of decades. So, their training is very good. Ultimately, we want to find what occurred here and learn from it. So, ensuring that there’s nothing systemic anywhere in the operations of this aircraft is critical to all parties.

China’s President ordered an immediate investigation

Number of casualties are yet to be known. President Xi Jinping has ordered an immediate investigation into what caused the accident. According to Potter:

There was quite an altitude drop, immediate, so it can range from catastrophic failure in terms of airframe where the pilot’s incapacitated at some point. But until the black box is found, it’s really going to be more questions than answers.

The tragedy could make it that much harder for Boeing to recover its reputation. The world’s second largest aeroplane manufacturer reported its third consecutive annual loss in January.  

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