Ryanair’s CEO released a sharp, obscene attack on Boeing’s management on Monday, saying that the company’s executives either need an immediate “restart, or a start-up of a **”[ads1];.
“At the moment, we think the Boeing management is running around like headless chickens, not able to sell planes, and even the planes they deliver, they are not able to deliver them on time,” said Michael O’Leary. , CEO of Ryanair, Europe’s largest low – cost carrier, which has ordered nearly 400 Boeing jets since 2010.
O’Leary and Boeing had an unusual public dispute last autumn over negotiations over a possible order for the next generation of the 737 Max, with Ireland-based Ryanair interrupting talks due to a price dispute.
The CEO’s unusually harsh comments on Monday were focused on Boeing’s delayed deliveries of aircraft. O’Leary said Ryanair had to scrap its spring and summer plans because the planes they had expected the aircraft manufacturer to deliver by the end of April are unlikely to arrive until the end of June.
He was angry about the delays, especially because Ryanair buys planes known as white tails, which Boeing had built for other airlines. The original buyer of these aircraft canceled the order during a prolonged 20-month grounding of the 737 Max that followed two fatalities.
“I can understand why there can be different challenges in producing new planes, but planes that you built and made two years ago that all you had to do was refuel them and damn fly them to Dublin. ‘Do not understand why you take two to three months’ delays on that, “he said in a conference call with investors about the airline’s financial performance.” It’s an expression of very poor management performance in Seattle. ”
Boeing declined to comment on O’Leary’s statements.
O’Leary said Boeing makes great aircraft, but it may be time to change management.
“Either the existing management needs to improve their game, or they need to change the existing management, would be our view of life,” he said. “We are very happy to work with existing management, but they really need to improve what they have delivered to us in the last 12 months.… We are a willing customer, but we are struggling with slow deliveries and inability to make a deal on new planes despite the number of white tails they have on the damn ground in Seattle. ”
Boeing has faced a number of problems in recent years, including the 737 Max crisis, which cost it more than $ 20 billion. The company was also hit by an FAA-ordered shutdown of deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner in June last year due to quality control issues. And there were delays in getting approval for the next-generation widebody jet, the 777X, which forced Boeing to push back the first deliveries of the aircraft by two years to at least 2025.
Boeing also suffered significant losses in its military and aerospace operations, including a recent cost of $ 660 million on the two aircraft it completes to be used as the new Air Force Ones. It also fights delays in building a spacecraft to transport US astronauts to the International Space Station.
“If they pull together, we would be willing to take more flights for the summer of ’23 and the summer of ’24,” O’Leary said. “There is growth there to win.”
He also said that the airline is willing to restart negotiations on an order for the new generation of 737 Max, although he pointed out that it has not yet won FAA approval, which makes it risky to rely on. So Ryanair is also looking at possibly buying 50 jets on the used market instead. And he had slogans for Boeing’s salesmen.
“You’re wondering what the hell their sales team has been doing for the last two years,” O’Leary said. “Honestly, it seems like most of them sit at home in their fucking jimjams and work from home instead of being out there selling planes to customers.”
O’Leary also criticized Boeing’s recently announced plan to move the company’s headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington.
“Moving headquarters to Virginia from Chicago, even though it may be good for the defense side of the business, does not solve the basic underlying problems on the civil aviation side of Seattle,” he said.
In addition to O’Leary, several other airlines have complained about recent conference calls – even though they are in a far less colorful language – about the problems they face from 787 or 777X delays.
Domhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon, one of the world’s leading airline leasing companies, indicated earlier this month that Boeing needs a change in culture – and perhaps leadership.
“I think it’s fair to say that Boeing has lost its way,” Slattery said at the Airfinance Journal conference, in comments first reported by Reuters and confirmed by Avolon. “Boeing has a history … They build great aircraft. But it is said that culture eats strategy for breakfast, and that is what has happened at Boeing.”