Dubai based Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark has come out and said that the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX is “compromising” the growth of flydubai.
While being interviewed by American cable news network CNN, the 69-year-old former SriLankan Airlines boss said that Boeing and Airbus each had a backlog of around 6,000 aircraft on their order books.
When reporting on the story, business news website Arabian Business quotes the Emirates Airline president as saying,
“For Airbus to crank up the manufacturing plant to produce the Max cancellations is probably not going to be feasible,” he said. “In the end, what is happening, flydubai has 14 Max grounded, but….we’ve got 140 on order and that is compromising its growth.”
Flydubai has 14 Boeing 737 MAXs
Following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 on March 10th, 2019, the second of two deadly 737 MAX crashes in less than six months, flydubai along with every other airline was forced to take their 737 MAXs out of service.
When talking about the grounding of the MAX, Clark said that Boeing needs to be open and honest about the problems surrounding the aircraft. With regards to getting the 737 MAX back in the air flying again, Clark said that he did not “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. He later added that his feeling was that the aircraft would be back in service by April 2020 at the latest.
The Emirates boss expects the airlines 777X deliveries to be delayed
Despite the Seattle plane maker burning through its cash reserves, Clark feels that Boeing will eventually “get it right.” Whilst being asked about the Emirates Airline order for 150 777X aircraft that are due to start arriving next June Clark said that it will most likely 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 the calendar,” he said.
When asked about Brexit, Clark said that while the whole process has been “pretty ugly” he expects it will take place.
“I believe that there will be a Brexit. Whether it will be on October 31, I’m not sure, but I believe that it will come,” he said. “This cannot go on indefinitely.”
“If it is allowed to go on indefinitely, the destabilization of both the European economies and the UK will be out there for so long,” he added. “It’s not a good place to be in.”
Flydubai is the second largest 737 MAX customer after Southwest Airlines
Gulf State budget airline flydubai is Boeings second-largest customer when it comes to the 737 MAX with 14 MAXs in service and a further 237 on order.
The grounding of the 737 MAX has not just hit flydubai, but every airline that has the Boeing jet in their fleet.
It will be quite interesting to see how Boeing handles that problem once they get the MAX flying again.