Michael O’Leary hurls obscenities at Boeing over aircraft delivery delays [aviso: este artigo contém citações com linguagem ofensiva]
Ryanair’s chief executive (CEO) launched a scathing and obscene attack on Boeing management on Monday, saying the company’s executives needed an “immediate restart or a kick in the ass”. [no original em inglês, “a reboot, or a boot up the ass”.]
“Right now, we feel that Boeing management is walking around like headless chickens, unable to sell planes, and even the planes they deliver can’t deliver them on time,” Michael O’ said. Leary, CEO of Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline. , which has ordered nearly 400 jets from Boeing since 2010.
O’Leary and Boeing had an unusual public chat last fall over talks surrounding a possible order for the next-generation 737 MAX, as the Ireland-based company halted talks over a pricing dispute. .
The CEO’s unusually blunt comments on Monday focused on delayed deliveries of Boeing planes. O’Leary said Ryanair had to shorten its spring and summer schedules because planes it expected the maker to deliver by the end of April were unlikely to arrive until late June.
O’Leary was furious at the delays, especially since Ryanair is buying planes known as “white tails”, which Boeing has already built for other airlines. The original purchaser of these planes canceled the order for an extended 20-month grounding of the 737 MAX following two fatal crashes. [quando 157 pessoas morreram a bordo de um voo da Ethiopian Airlines que partiu de Addis Ababa em março de 2019; e quando 189 pessoas morreram no voo da Lion Air que caiu no mar em outubro de 2018].
“I can understand that there can be a lot of challenges in making new planes, but the planes that you already built and made two years ago, all you had to… do was fuel them and fly them to Dublin, damn it. [no original em inglês: “put petrol in them and fucking fly them to Dublin”]. Seriously, I don’t understand why there are two to three month delays on this file,” he said on a conference call with investors about the airline’s financial results. “It smells mismanagement in Seattle.”
Boeing did not respond to a request for comment on O’Leary’s comments.
O’Leary said Boeing makes great planes, but maybe it’s time to change direction.
“Either the current management has to up their game or they have to change direction, that would be our outlook on life,” he said. “We are very happy to work with the current management, but they need to improve the radius of what they are doing a lot over the last 12 months… We are a goodwill customer, but we are fighting against these slow deliveries and an inability to get a deal on new planes despite the number of ‘white tails’ they have on the ground in Seattle.”
Boeing has faced several problems in recent years, including the 737 MAX crisis, which cost more than $20 billion. [19,15 mil milhões de euros ao câmbio atual]. The company was also hit by an FAA-ordered suspension of deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner. [Administração Federal de Aviação dos Estados Unidos] last June due to quality control issues. And it has faced delays in approving its next-generation jet, the 777X, which has forced Boeing to delay first deliveries of the plane by two years, at least until 2025.
Boeing has also suffered significant losses in its military and space businesses, including a recent fine of $660 million. [632 milhões de euros] because of two aircraft that are nearing completion and will be used as the new Air Force Ones [aviões do presidente dos Estados Unidos]. It also tackles delays in building a spacecraft to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station.
“If they can work their shit [original: “get their shit together], we would be willing to take more planes for summer 23 and summer 24,” O’Leary said. “There is growth to be achieved.”
O’Leary also said the airline was open to re-opening negotiations on an order for the next-generation 737 MAX, although he pointed out that it had not yet obtained FAA approval, which made it risky to rely on it. Therefore, Ryanair also plans to buy 50 jets from the second-hand market. And he had also chosen words for the commercial team of Boeing:
“You wonder what their sales team has been up to for the past two years,” O’Leary said. “Frankly, most of them seem to be sitting at home in their fucking pajamas. [original: “in their fucking jimjams”] work from home instead of selling planes to customers.
O’Leary also criticized Boeing’s recently announced plan to move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., a suburb of Washington.
“Moving the headquarters from Chicago to Virginia, while it may be good for the defense side of the business, doesn’t solve the underlying fundamental issues on Seattle’s civilian aircraft side,” he said.
Other customer reviews
In addition to O’Leary, several other airlines have complained in recent conference calls — albeit in much less colorful language — about issues they face with 787 or 777X delays.
Domhnal 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 that Boeing has lost its way,” Slattery told the Airfinance Journal conference, in comments reported by Reuters and confirmed by Avolon. “Boeing has a rich history… They build great planes. But they say culture eats strategy for breakfast and that’s what happened at Boeing.”