In a conference call with investors about the airline’s financial results, obtained by CNN, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary complained about Boeing’s latest delays in delivery. In his opinion, the current management of the aircraft manufacturer needs either a “reboot or a boot up the ass. Either the existing management needs to up its game, or they need to change the existing management, would be our view of life. We’re very happy to work with existing management but they need to bloody well improve on what they’ve been doing delivering to us over the last 12 months”.
At the moment we think Boeing management is running around like headless chickens, not able to sell aircraft, and then even the aircraft they deliver, they’re not able to deliver them on time.Michael O’Leary, CEO at Ryanair
Since 2010, the airline has ordered almost 400 jets from Boeing, but it seems the struggles Boeing has been facing with delivery lately have left the CEO furious. He highlighted that Ryanair had to greatly reduce the planned schedules for the spring and summer seasons because aircraft that was supposed to be delivered by the end of April will probably be delivered at the end of June at the earliest.
“I can understand why there may be various challenges manufacturing new aircraft, but aircraft that you built and made two years ago that all you had … to do was put petrol in them and fucking fly them to Dublin, really I don’t understand why you’re taking two to three month delays on that. It is redolent of very poor management performance in Seattle”, O’Leary said.
We’re a willing customer, but we’re struggling with slow deliveries and an inability to do a deal on new aircraft despite the number of white tails they have sitting on the fucking ground in Seattle. If they get their shit together, we’d be willing to take more aircraft for summer ’23 and summer ’24.Michael O’Leary, CEO at Ryanair
The type of planes Ryanair is interested to buy are called white tails and, according to CNN, Boeing has already built them for other companies, but the original orders were cancelled after the 737 Max were stranded on ground pending safety investigation.
O’Leary also criticized the manufacturer’s sales team, who, in his opinion, has not been doing its job over the past two years. “You wonder what the hell their sales team has done in the last two years. Frankly most of them seem to be sitting at home in their fucking jimjams working from home instead of being out there selling planes to customers”, the CEO added.
Domhnal Slattery, the CEO of Avolon, one of the world’s leading aircraft leasing companies, shares O’Leary’s opinion, albeit in more diplomatic words: “I think it’s fair to say that Boeing has lost its way. Boeing has a storied history … They build great airplanes. But it’s said that culture eats strategy for breakfast and that is what has happened at Boeing”.