On First Move, CNN’s Julia Chatterley interviewed the President of Emirates Tim Clark. Clark spoke about the Boeing 737 Max crisis and the uncertainty around Brexit.
Following two fatal crashes, Boeing was forced to ground its 737 Max planes in March 2019. This affected airlines across the world, including Emirates. Clark believes it has disrupted Boeing and compelled the company to re-evaluate itself, “This will be a real disruptor to Boeing, it is. I think they will re-examine themselves, that’s what they should be doing, turning themselves inside out.”
As well as affecting current flights, the grounding had an impact on orders for new 737 Max planes. Clark expresses doubt that Boeing’s competitor Airbus will be able to fulfil any extra orders, “For Airbus to crank up manufacturing plants to produce the Max cancellations is probably not going to be feasible.”
Boeing are hoping to have the 737 Max airborne again by the end of the year. However, Clark tells Chatterley that he feels this date will not be reached, “I would say sometime in the first quarter of next year, calendar – January, February, March, latest April.”
Clark goes on to describe Boeing as, “a company which is haemorrhaging cash”, but believes that, “They will get it right”, when it comes to solving the 737 Max crisis.
Emirates also have orders for the new Boeing 777X which was due to be delivered by next June. Again, Clark is doubtful that Boeing will reach this date, ““I would say that’s a little bit optimistic. Q3 of 2020 I would say… my money’s on Q1 (2021).”
Clark also spoke about Brexit and the uncertainty it is causing. He said that the Brexit process has been, “Pretty ugly”, and that deliberations cannot be allowed to go on for much longer, “This cannot go on indefinitely. And if it is allowed to go on indefinitely, the destabilisation of both the European economies and the UK will be out there for so long. It’s not a good place to be in.”
On how the 737 Max crisis has affected Boeing:
“This will be a real disruptor to Boeing, it is. I think they will re-examine themselves, that’s what they should be doing, turning themselves inside out to make sure that everybody is on the message that they always use to produce these excellent machines.”
“The reality is that the opposition, the competitor (Airbus), cannot meet the obligations – the requirements rather, of the airlines that had the Max on order. So, for Airbus to crank up manufacturing plants to produce the Max cancellations is probably not going to be feasible.”
On Boeing’s 777X delivery in June:
“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 1st, if you’re not it would be Q2 in calendar – calendar, I think we might be seeing them about then.”
On Boeing working to get the 737 Max airborne:
“I don’t see much going on with regards to, perhaps I’m being a bit disingenuous to Boeing, but it’s important that the regulators get this one sorted out.”
On when the 737 Max will be airborne:
“I would say sometime in the first quarter of next year, calendar – January, February, March, latest April.”
On whether Boeing will sort the crisis:
“They will get it right.”
On Boeing’s financial situation:
“A company which is haemorrhaging cash.”
On the Brexit process:
“The whole process over the last two, three years has been pretty ugly.”
On the Brexit date:
“I believe that there will be a Brexit. Whether it will be on October 31st, I’m not sure, but I believe that it will come.”
On Brexit instability:
“This cannot go on indefinitely. And if it is allowed to go on indefinitely, the destabilisation of both the European economies and the UK will be out there for so long. It’s not a good place to be in.”
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