Airbus most likely “cannot meet the obligations” required to fulfil existing orders for the embattled Boeing 737 Max, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark has said in a CNN interview.
According to Clark, rival carriers Airbus and Boeing each had approximately 6,000 various backlogs of aircraft on order.
“For Airbus to crank up the manufacturing plant to produce the Max cancellations is probably not going to be feasible,” said the airline executive.
“In the end, what is happening, Flydubai has 14 Max grounded, but….we’ve got 140 on order and that is compromising its growth,” continued Clark.
Touching upon Boeing’s efforts to get the grounded 737 Max airborne again, Clark claimed he doesn’t “see much going on”.
“Perhaps I’m being a bit disingenuous to Boeing, but it’s important that the regulators get this one sorted out,” he said, adding that he believes the aircraft will fly again “sometime in the first quarter of next year, calendar – January, February, March, latest [by] April.”
However, Clark said that Boeing will eventually “get it right.”
Additionally, Clark said that he believes Boeing’s delivery of 150 777x aircraft to Emirates – which were due in June – is likely to be delayed.
“I would say that’s a little bit optimistic. Q3 of 2020 I would say….my money’s on Q1 if you’re going calendar April 1. If you’re not, it would be Q2 in calendar,” he said.
Boeing seeks to get 737 Max airborne
On Wednesday embattled Boeing announced that it intends to obtain regulatory approval for its 737 Max by the end of the year, according to Reuters.
“Our top priority remains the safe return to service of the 737 Max, and we’re making steady progress, Boeing President and CEO Dennis Muilenberg said in the statement.
The Boeing CEO, who was recently called upon by the Federal Aviation Administration to explain the discovery of damning documents which identified early issues with the 737 Max’s unique software, was removed from the company’s board of directors earlier this month to allow him to “focus full time on running the company."
Muilenburg is also expected to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on 30 October and the Senate Commerce Committee within the coming weeks.
“I anticipate there will be tough questions, challenging questions, a lot of scrutiny... And frankly, we support the scrutiny on the work that we’re doing,” he told analysts and journalists on a conference call.
Boeing is under pressure on multiple fronts, including over cutting safety corners and adding new software to its jets without telling pilots about the changes, as its global Max fleet was grounded in March this year following two fatal crashes.
An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 plane crashed after takeoff, killing all 157 passengers and crew onboard.
That crash came just five months after the October 2018 crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8, which killed all 189 people onboard.
An investigation revealed that the planes crashed due to a flaw in the onboard software, which prevented pilots from identifying errors in flight.