The veteran boss of Emirates Airline has once again taken a swing at Boeing, saying the embattled aircraft manufacturer is in the “last chance saloon” over quality defects and safety issues that have seriously marred the once respected and admired aerospace giant.
Sir Tim Clark, president of the Dubai-based airline, told the Financial Times in his most recent interview that he had seen a “progressive decline” in Boeing’s performance in recent years and that the manufacturer had to “do better”.
In the aftermath of the mid-cabin exit plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737MAX-9 jet last month, Sir Tim said the accident was “another manifestation” of the issues that have plagued Boeing for a number of years.
Sir Clark has, however, placed his support in Boeing’s chief executive Dave Calhoun and head of commercial Stan Deal but warned: “This is the last chance saloon”.
Like a number of other airlines, Sir Tim is now preparing to send Emirates’ own engineers to oversee and monitor Boeing’s production lines to ensure the quality of workmanship meets its own standards.
Emirates has a lot invested in Boeing, having placed a big new order for Boeing 777X and 787 Dreamliner aircraft during last year’s Dubai Air Show, which, at list value, could be worth as much as US $52 billion.
Despite Boeing’s woes, Emirates has been reluctant to transfer too much of its business to rival jets made by European manufacturer Airbus. During the 2023 Dubai Air Show, Airbus only managed to secure an order for 15 additional A350-900 to Emirates while losing out on an order for its larger flagship A350-1000.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.