The crash of a Boeing airliner in China on Monday follows years of upheaval for the American manufacturer, raising the prospect of renewed regulatory scrutiny and sending its stock sharply lower.
Boeing shares were off 5 percent shortly after the start of Wall Street trading, a few hours after a Boeing 737-800 NG operated by China Eastern plunged from the sky on a domestic flight with more than 130 people aboard. China Eastern shares ended Monday 6.5 percent lower in trading in Hong Kong.
Boeing issued a short statement, saying, “We are aware of the initial media reports and are working to gather more information.”
The Federal Aviation Administration said that it “is ready to assist in investigation efforts if asked.”
If China requests help from the U.S. government in carrying out an investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board, which conducts crash investigations, would be the lead agency to provide it. That agency said on Twitter that it was “monitoring” the crash.
There are nearly 25,000 passenger planes in service worldwide, according to Cirium, an aviation data provider. Of those, about 4,200, or 17 percent, are Boeing 737-800 NGs. China is home to nearly 1,200 of those planes, followed by Europe, with nearly 1,000, and the United States, with nearly 800.
American Airlines has 265 737-800 NGs in service, while Southwest Airlines has 205, United Airlines has 136 and Delta Air Lines has 77, according to Cirium. Boeing delivered nearly 5,000 of the planes to customers between 1998 and 2020, according to Boeing data.
China is one of Boeing’s largest markets. Last year, the company forecast that the number of commercial planes there would double by 2040, with Chinese airlines needing 8,700 new aircraft by then, valued at about $1.47 trillion.