Passengers of Ryanair Holdings Plc RYAAY are reportedly unfazed about flying on Boeing Company BA 737 aircraft, despite the grounding of several 737 MAX jets following a cabin panel blowout incident on an Alaska Air Group, Inc. ALK flight.
“We see no indication of any passenger concern … not one passenger,” Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told Reuters in an interview, adding that the most significant challenge faced by the MAX was its nearly two-year grounding in 2019, which occurred in the aftermath of two major crashes.
On Saturday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded 171 MAX 9 airplanes following an incident where a door plug panel blew off an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after its departure from a Portland airport on Friday.
O’Leary mentioned that although the MAX 9 incident was concerning, he confirmed after extensive weekend phone conversations with U.S., European, and Irish regulators that this issue does not extend to the MAX 8 model, which Ryanair operates, or the MAX 10 model that the airline has on order, Reuters added.
O’Leary further stated that although the U.S. aircraft manufacturer has made “tremendous strides” in improving production quality over the past two years, he noted that “they’re not there yet,” according to the report.
“We ourselves have found minor issues on aircraft deliveries that shouldn’t be occurring in a world class manufacturer like Boeing and I think Boeing have more to do on the quality control side,” he said, as noted by Reuters.
O’Leary expressed his unwavering commitment to Boeing for future orders and conveyed his strong confidence in Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun and Finance Chief Brian West.
However, he also noted that Ryanair still harbors concerns regarding the day-to-day production management at Boeing’s Seattle facilities and that of their supplier, Spirit Aerosystems Holdings, Inc. SPR, located in Wichita.
“They’ve changed the management in Wichita but I think more needs to be done with the day-to-day management in Seattle,” O’Leary said, which Reuters noted.
Price Action: RYAAY shares are trading higher by 0.89% to $124.21 premarket on the last check Thursday.
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