A reboot is needed after Boeing management lost its way, Ryanair’s CEO said

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, pictured during a press conference on Wednesday, March 02, 2022 in Brussels, the Irish low-cost airline Rainier.

Nicholas Materlink | AFP | Getty Images

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has called for a change of management of US aviation giant Boeing, following a delay in delivery and controversial talks between the two companies.

The Irish low-cost airline stopped negotiating a significant order for a multi-billion dollar Boeing 737 Max 10 jet in September 2021 after failing to agree on pricing. Executives from both companies will return to the table next week.

Ryanair is Europe’s largest customer of the narrow-body 737 Max, and a new order of up to 250 of the larger, 230-seat Max 10s, potentially valued at £ 33 billion.

O’Leary told CNBC after Rainier’s full-year results on Monday that the company had been “very disappointed” with Boeing’s performance over the past 12 months from a commercial standpoint.

“I’ve seen some comments recently that Boeing management has lost their way, and I find it hard to agree with those sentiments,” O’Leary said.

“They are late in delivering the aircraft. We stopped talking to them last September but haven’t heard anything from them on the Max 10.”

Boeing reported higher-than-expected and lower-than-expected revenue for the first quarter of 2022, posting a net loss of $ 1.2 billion.

The US Titan has enjoyed renewed demand for its steady 737 Max, which returned to service in late 2020 after being sidelined after two fatal crashes. However, production issues and certification delays dragged on other aviation programs.

“Boeing needs a management reboot, of course from the civilian side of the aircraft,” O’Leary said.

“They need to get some management out there that is going to address the delivery delays and address the production challenges facing not only the Max, but also the Max 10 and 787.”

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

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

The agency said it was unable to provide guidance on proper progress due to the uncertainty surrounding the war and the epidemic in Ukraine, but hoped it would return to “reasonable profitability” this year.

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