‘They prioritized DEI’ over safety

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By Dan Sears

Elon Musk ripped Boeing over a filing that appeared to show the aeronautical giant two years ago began using diversity, equity and inclusion goals as incentives for executive compensation after previously focusing solely on safety and quality controls.

“Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety? That is actually happening,” Musk said on X on Wednesday.

The billionaire, whose comments followed a nearly-catastrophic Alaska Airlines flight that suffered a fuselage panel blowout over the weekend, was reacting to a screenshot that showed a proxy statement from Boeing filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Beginning in 2022, the aircraft manufacturer changed its incentive plan from giving executives bonuses based on passenger safety, employee safety, and quality to rewarding them if they hit climate and DEI targets, according to the filing.

“While our 2021 design incorporated operational performance in the areas of product safety, employee safety and quality, for 2022 we will add two other focus areas critical to our long-range business plan: climate and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&l),” the filing said.

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Elon Musk suggested Boeing prioritizes DEI over safety after its 737 MAX 9 plane defaulted during an Alaska Airlines flight, when a chunk of the plane blew out at 16,000 feet. Instagram/@strawberrvy via REUTE

Separately, Boeing issued a “Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion 2023 Report,” which noted that “also in 2022, for the first time in our company’s history, we tied incentive compensation to inclusion.”

“Our goal was to achieve diverse interview slates for at least 90% of manager and executive openings,” the report said, adding that the company exceeded the target, “with 92% of interview slates being diverse, resulting in 47% diverse hires.”

“For 2023, we’ve raised the bar and expect at least 92.5% of those interview slates will be diverse.”

Boeing declined to comment on Thursday.

Musk doubled down on his stance, adding in a subsequent X post: “People will die due to DEI,” citing a news article on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which had to make an emergency landing at Portland International Airport on Friday evening after a chunk of the plane blew off at about 16,000 feet, leaving a gaping hole in the plane.

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In a stroke of luck, there was no passenger in seat 26A on the flight, which was directly next to the panel that blew out.

United Airlines has also found loose bolts and other “installation issues” on some of its Boeing 737 MAX 9 jets that were inspected following the Alaska Airlines flight.

“People will die due to DEI,” Musk said in the wake of the near-disastrous Alaska Airlines flight on Friday. Getty Images
“Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety?” Musk asked on X on Wednesday. Getty Images

Boeing has faced an influx of scrutiny after its 737 MAX 9 aircraft malfunctioned mid-flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board has since said it could have been caused by hardware intended to keep the fuselage panel secure that was never actually installed.

The NTSB’s revelation came just hours after United Airlines reported finding loose bolts and “installation issues” on some Boeing 737 MAX 9 jetliners.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said on Tuesday that the company made a “mistake” that caused the incident. The following day, Alaska Airlines cancelled all flights on Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 jet. REUTERS

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun fought back tears while “acknowledging our mistake” that caused the terrifying incident in a companywide meeting on Tuesday.

By Wednesday, Alaska Airlines canceled all of its flights on Boeing-made 737 MAX 9 jets through Saturday as it conducts inspections and “prepares fully for return to service.

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The airline said as many as 150 flights would be impacted per day through Saturday.

Representatives for Boeing and Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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