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“Wrenches under the floor”, “missing handles”… Ryanair tackles its own Boeing aircraft supplier

2024-03-30 19:24:11

By PL-B.

Published 5 hours ago, Updated 3 hours ago

Michael O’Leary spoke in an interview with the American television channel CNN. Evelyn Hockstein / REUTERS

The CEO of the Irish low-cost airline admitted that the American manufacturer Boeing was not careful “regarding the details” of the planes it delivers.

While the boss of the American manufacturer Boeing will leave his position at the end of 2024, in the midst of turmoil after a succession of quality and safety problems on his planes, the CEO of the Irish company Ryanair Michael O’Leary did not spare him again, even participating in precipitating his fall. A few months after explaining at a press conference that he had found a wrench under the floor of a new plane that he had just received, the colorful boss of the famous low-cost airline has just admitted that he there was “quality problems at Boeing”.

“In 2022 and 2023, we found small items, like wrenches or, in other cases, missing seat handles. Shortcomings of this order”he confided in an interview with CNN on March 20. “But nothing serious or major”he added, while affirming that it is not “not acceptable that the planes delivered are not 100% perfect”. And to avoid any disappointment, the CEO of Ryanair ensures that his engineers systematically pass “48 hours checking the new planes” received by his company in Dublin.

Changes described as“indispensable”

How is it that the businessman – who can boast of being at the head of what is the leading European carrier and the third in the world in terms of passengers – has attacked his long-time partner in this way? Because not only does Ryanair only fly Boeing planes, it is also one of the American manufacturer’s biggest customers. This is not the first time that Michael O’Leary has expressed concern about his supplier, whom he considers “unacceptable post-covid quality control”and even recently described as“indispensable” upcoming changes in the group.

In the meantime, the latter wants to reassure the more than 180 million passengers who have placed their trust in it in 2023 – twice as many as easyJet – by promising drastic controls. “We are not prepared to put an aircraft into service with Ryanair unless we are fully satisfied that everything is in the right place and that everything works.”he finally told CNN, revealing that he was “daily in contact with them” and saying he is fully convinced that Boeing “getting better every day”.

Tackle on Bruno Le Maire

For its part, Boeing was quick to respond to Michael O’Leary’s revelations, in an interview given to the American website Business Insider. “We are focused on implementing changes to strengthen quality across our entire production system and taking the time necessary to deliver high-quality aircraft that meet all regulatory requirements”, defended the group’s spokesperson when questioned on this subject. Is war declared between the two groups? Not in the least, even if Boeing’s delivery delays will cost Ryanair dearly. Due to the manufacturer’s safety concerns, the Irish company will only receive 40 of the 57 aircraft expected by the end of June. This will result in the reduction of around ten flight lines for the months of July, August and September.

And proof of his loyalty to Boeing, the CEO of Ryanair did not hesitate to make fun of Bruno Le Maire, when he said that he “now preferred to fly an Airbus than to fly a Boeing”. “My family cares about me too”, said the French Minister of Economy and Finance. A little sentence, undoubtedly marked by chauvinism, which had not escaped the Irish boss, who had judged “stupid” the opinion of the minister. His comment was “stupid and ill-advised”tackles Michael O’Leary in an interview at Politicogoing so far as to compare the French minister’s exit to those of Donald Trump. “We live in a world where we encourage free speech, and Donald Trump is talking nonsense. Bruno Le Maire does the same thing.

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