“Right now, we think Boeing management is roaming like a headless chicken, unable to sell planes, and then even the planes they deliver, they can’t deliver on time,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said. , the largest discount airline in Europe, which has ordered nearly 400 planes from Boeing since 2010.
The CEO’s unusually candid comments on Monday focused on Boeing’s delays in delivering aircraft. O’Leary said Ryanair has had to scale back its schedules for the spring and summer because the planes the aircraft manufacturer expected to deliver by the end of April likely won’t arrive until the end of June.
“I can understand why there might be different challenges with manufacturing new planes, but the planes you built and built two years ago, all you have to do is put gasoline in them and take them to Dublin, really,” he said on a conference call with investors about the airline’s financial results. I understand why you’re two to three months late.” “It smells of really poor management performance in Seattle.”
Boeing declined to comment on O’Leary’s comments.
O’Leary said Boeing makes great planes, but it may be time for a change of management.
“Either the current administration needs to improve its game, or it needs to change the current administration, it will be our view of life,” he said. “We are very happy to work with the current management but they need to improve on what they have been giving us over the past 12 months. … We are a willing customer, but we struggle with slow deliveries and the inability to close a deal on new aircraft despite the number of white tails that sits on the floor in Seattle.”
“If they put their bodies together, we’d be ready to take in more planes on summer 23 and summer 24,” O’Leary said. “There is growth out there that can be achieved.”
He also said the airline was ready to resume negotiations on an order for the new generation 737 Max, although he noted that it has not yet been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, which makes reliance on it risky. So Ryanair is also looking into the possibility of buying 50 planes from the used car market instead. And he had pick words for Boeing’s sales staff.
“You wonder what their sales team has done in the last two years,” O’Leary said. “Honestly it looks like most of them are sitting at home working from home rather than being outside selling planes to customers.”
“Moving headquarters to Virginia from Chicago, while it may be beneficial to the defense side of the business, does not fix the underlying underlying issues on the civilian aircraft side of Seattle,” he said.
Other customer reviews
In addition to O’Leary, several other airlines have complained about recent conference calls – albeit in less varied language – about the problems they encounter with 787 or 777X delays.
Domhnall Slattery, CEO of Avolon, one of the world’s leading aircraft leasing companies, suggested earlier this month that Boeing needed a change in culture – and perhaps leadership.
“I think it’s fair to say Boeing has lost its way,” Slattery told the Airfinance Journal conference, in comments first reported by Reuters and confirmed by Avolon. “Boeing has a great history…they make great planes. But it’s said that culture eats strategy for breakfast and that’s what happened at Boeing.”
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