Emirates chairman criticizes Boeing for delays to 777X planes

On Tuesday, the boss of the Dubai airline Emirates lobbied the aircraft manufacturer Boeing over the delays of its 777X airliner.
Image Credit: Bloomberg

Boston: Dubai airline chief Emirates pressured aircraft manufacturer Boeing on Tuesday over delays to its 777X airliner, warning that the uncertainty would cause significant disruption for one of the world’s largest carriers .

Emirates President Tim Clark has said he wants “another adult conversation” with the US aircraft manufacturer on the schedule for the twin-engine jumbo, which is at least two and a half years behind its originally scheduled June arrival. 2020.

“We work with precision. I fight with others who can’t get it, ”Clark told reporters shortly before meeting with Boeing executives on the sidelines of an airline industry summit.

Clark, an airline industry veteran who has been closely involved in the development of the current 777-300ER, has blasted Boeing this year for the repeated delays of its 777X.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company previously announced plans to start shipping the new, larger version of the 777 widebody by the end of 2023, three years later than originally planned, in part due to a longer certification process after. the fatal crashes of the 737 MAX.

Fleet plan issues

Clark, who was attending an International Air Transport Association meeting in Boston, stressed that uncertainty over Boeing’s progress with the program would hamper its airline’s complex fleet plans that include Airbus jets.

Emirates, which has ordered 126 777X jets, is a launch customer for the new aircraft that will replace the current 777 jets that form the backbone of its widebody fleet.

Clark said Emirates still don’t know when the first 777-9 version of the twin-engine jumbo will arrive, or whether the smaller version of the 777-8 will be built.

In May, Clark said Emirates would refuse delivery of 777X jets that violated contractual agreements. On Tuesday, he said he wanted industry contracts changed to make manufacturers more responsible for the ripple effects of delays.

Currently, manufacturers are responsible for product defects, not “consequential damages” such as passenger compensation.

Analysts say industrial suppliers are reluctant to make commitments that create open exposure to airline operations.

In April, the president of the airline Gulf said that some of the 126,777X ordered could be exchanged for smaller Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Emirates has already revised its order for the 777X in 2019, canceling orders for 24 of the jets as part of a deal that saw it agree to purchase 30 Dreamliners.

When asked on Tuesday if Emirates could trade in more 777X planes for the smaller 787, Clark said a lot would depend on Boeing.

Regarding the recovery, Clark said bookings have increased dramatically in markets reopening after COVID-19.

“We have reduced the loss over this period last year by a significant percentage,” he said.

“With the opening of the borders, we have seen a significant increase in revenues, in demand, so in the second half of the year, we expect a much greater improvement compared to the first half,” he said. added. .

“We still won’t be out of the woods… but as the 2022-23 fiscal year (April / March) approaches, I’m sure the business will really start to generate the cash it needs and become profitable. during the course of 2022-2023, moderately. Emirates is expected to release its first half results next month.

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