President Donald Trump offered some unsolicited business advice for Boeing on Monday, but his comments are dredging up memories of Trump’s failed attempt at entering the airline industry.
“What do I know about branding, maybe nothing,” Trump wrote in an early morning tweet, “But if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name.”
What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name.
No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
“But again, what the hell do I know?” he added.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 remains grounded in the U.S. following two deadly crashes under similar circumstances within a matter of months. Boeing developed a software update to the plane’s flight systems and is rolling out new training for pilots in response.
The aircraft manufacturer giant is facing a major severe public relations crisis in the fallout from the crashes, and the real estate mogul turned president has his eyes focused on a rebrand that could help the public accept the inevitable return of the troubled aircraft.
Though Trump’s current travel is mostly done on the VC-25A known as Air Force One, a military version of the Boeing 747, the president’s travel needs were once filled by his private Boeing 757 — colloquially known as “Trump Force One.”
But in addition to his private familiarity with planes, Trump once helmed the short-lived Trump Shuttle airline. However, Trump Shuttle isn’t remembered as one of the president’s better business ventures — within three years, he would sell the airline and be on the hook for at least $100 million in debt he had personally guaranteed when he purchased the venture from Eastern Airlines in 1989, according to the New York Times.
And the memory of Trump’s brief foray in the airline industry came back on Monday when Trump decided to offer his advice to Boeing. George Conway, the husband to one of the president’s closest adviser and a seemingly constant thorn in his side, made sure to remind Trump of the failed venture.
“Trump Shuttle ‘ran out of cash and defaulted on its debt in September 1990,'” Conway wrote in response to the president’s tweet, linking to the Wikipedia article for the short-lived airline.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) April 15, 2019
Conway has been a constant critic of the president and has recently drawn his direct ire. After largely ignoring him, Trump finally fired back at Conway in March, calling him the “husband from hell” after Conway openly questioned Trump’s mental state.