- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
The past week was a tumultuous one in aviation, as Delta Air Lines dumped fuel on a group of schoolchildren, and Iran admitted it shot down a passenger flight, killing all 176 people on board.
Boeing, which has faced a number of embarrassing revelations in the aftermath of crashes involving its 737 Max jets, began a new era under CEO David Calhoun, who will attempt to resolve a number of lingering issues at the aerospace manufacturer.
The electric-vehicle startup Byton also has something to prove. I interviewed the company’s CEO, Daniel Kirchert, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where he outlined the advanced technology Byton hopes will distinguish it from its competitors.
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These are the biggest transportation stories from the past week:
A new chapter at Boeing
- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
David Calhoun had his first day as Boeing’s CEO on Monday, replacing Dennis Muilenburg, who was fired in the aftermath of two deadly crashes involving the aerospace company’s 737 Max aircraft.
A former executive at Blackstone and General Electric, Calhoun will be tasked with repairing Boeing’s reputation.
Business Insider reporter David Slotnick outlined Calhoun’s top priorities, including returning the 737 Max to the air, guiding Boeing’s 777X program through the final stages of its troubled development process, and mending Boeing’s relationship with customers, shareholders, and regulators.
Delta’s head-scratching mistake
Fuel released from a Delta Air Lines flight hit a group of children in Los Angeles County on Tuesday. Sixty-seven children and adults received medical attention, though none were hospitalized.
It’s not yet clear why the fuel was dumped, since the flight’s pilot told air-traffic control he would not do so shortly before the incident. A CNN analyst speculated that there may have been a communication error.
Iran admits it shot down a civilian flight
- Rouhollah VAHDATI / ISNA / AFP via Getty
Iran said on January 11 that it shot down Ukrainian Airlines flight 152, killing all 176 people who were on board. But Iran said the attack was an accident, spurred by fears that the plane posed a threat after it came close to a sensitive military site.
You can read everything we know about the incident, as of Tuesday, here.
A Tesla challenger makes his pitch
I spoke with Daniel Kirchert, CEO of the electric-vehicle startup Byton, at CES.
Kirchert said the advanced technology in Byton’s M-Byte SUV – set for release in China this year, with North America and Europe to follow in 2021 – will distinguish it from competitors, including Tesla’s upcoming Model Y. The vehicle will have a 48-inch dashboard screen that stretches across the full width of the windshield and a touchpad on its steering wheel, both of which Kirchert said are auto-industry firsts.
Kirchert said Byton hopes to avoid Tesla’s financial and manufacturing issues, though both will be much easier said than done. No electric-vehicle startup has come anywhere close to matching Tesla’s success thus far.
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