Ryanair’s chief executive officer Michael O’Leary has said Boeing’s management is acting like “headless chickens” amid ongoing aircraft delays.
In a call with investors on Monday to speak about the Irish carrier’s recent financial earnings, O’Leary criticised the US plane manufacturer for not being able to deliver aircraft on time and not continuing talks with the airline over a botched 737 deal in September.
“At the moment we think Boeing management is running around like headless chickens, not able to sell aircraft, and then even the aircraft they deliver, they’re not able to deliver them on time,” he said.
The low-cost-carrier is one of the largest 737 MAX operators in the world and has ordered over 400 of the aircraft in over a decade. However, recent public disputes have thrown into question whether the aviation giants’ relationship remains civil.
Last June, the airline almost refused to accept its long-awaited order of 737 MAX 8 jets, which it had been waiting for, for over two years, due to the groundings caused by the two fatal crashes in 2018-19.
Although later that month Ryanair took the delivery, in September the company also called off negotiations with Boeing on a multi-billion-dollar 737 MAX 10 deal over unmatched price expectations.
On Monday, O’Leary told CNBC in a television interview that Ryanair has “heard nothing from them on the MAX 10” since the deal was called off.
“I saw some commentary recently that Boeing management has lost their way, and I find it hard to disagree with those sentiments,” O’Leary said.
“They need to get some management in there that’s going to resolve the aircraft delivery delays and sort out the production challenges facing not just the MAX, but also the MAX 10, and the 787 as well.”
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jets are also facing major delays, after they were grounded following the FAA finding multiple manufacturing issues on the jets. Earlier this week, the FAA also said it sent back documentation to Boeing that was incomplete, meaning the aircraft will likely enter into service later this year.
“I can understand why there may be various challenges manufacturing new aircraft, but aircraft that you built and made two years ago that all you had … to do was put petrol in them and f***ing fly them to Dublin, really, I don’t understand why you’re taking two-to-three-month delays on that,” O’Leary continued on the conference call.
“It is redolent of very poor management performance in Seattle.”
His comments come after the carrier reported its full year earnings on Monday, and saw a loss of €355 million, which was significantly lower than its previous loss of €1,015 million, sparked by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and global lockdowns.