Boeing CEO needs to restart after failure, says CEO Ryanair

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary during the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair press conference, Wednesday 2 March 2022 in Brussels.

Nicolas Maeterlinck | AFP | beautiful pictures

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has called for management change at the US airline giant Boeingafter delivery delays and a period of intense negotiation between the two companies.

Ireland’s low-cost airlineNegotiations conclude on a key order of Boeing 737 Max 10 jets worth tens of billions of dollars in September 2021, after a price disagreement. CEOs of both companies will return to the table in the coming weeks.

Ryanair is Europe’s biggest customer for the narrow-body 737 Max and has spoken of a new order potentially worth around £33 billion for up to 250 larger, 230-seat Max 10s.

O’Leary told CNBC following Ryanair’s full-year results on Monday that the company was “very disappointed with Boeing’s performance” from a commercial perspective over the past 12 months.

“I have seen some comments recently that Boeing management has lost its way, and I find it difficult to agree with those comments,” O’Leary said.

“They delivered the plane late, we haven’t heard from them on the Max 10, despite the fact that we stopped negotiating with them last September.”

Boeing reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss and below-consensus revenue for the first quarter of 2022, recording a net loss of $1.2 billion.

The US giant, which has enjoyed resurgent demand for its solid 737 Max, is back service in late 2020 after being interrupted following two fatal crashes. However, production problems and certification delays dragged on other aircraft programs.

“Boeing needs to restart management, certainly on the civilian aircraft side,” says O’Leary.

“They need to have some management in there to deal with the delivery delays and address the production challenges of not only the Max but the Max 10 and 787 as well.”

Boeing did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. After negotiations broke down in September, a Boeing spokesman said Ryanair was a “long-term partner” and Boeing was “committed to supporting them.”

Ryanair on Monday posted a net loss of 355 million euros ($369.06 million) in the 12 months to the end of March, with the Covid-19 pandemic still weighing on international travel.

The company said it was unable to provide exact futures return guidance due to uncertainties surrounding the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, but it expects to return to “reasonable margins” this year.

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