Updated February 19th, 2024 at 17:02 IST

Airlines group chief expresses confidence in Boeing CEO amid safety crisis

Reassurance comes in wake of an incident last month where a panel blew out of a 737 MAX 9 plane during a flight.

Reported by: Business Desk
Boeing 737 Max Plain | Image:X
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In a show of support for Boeing's leadership amid its latest safety setback, the head of the world's largest airline trade body voiced confidence in CEO Dave Calhoun's ability to navigate the company through its current challenges.

The reassurance comes in the wake of an incident last month where a panel blew out of a 737 MAX 9 plane during a flight, raising concerns about Boeing's manufacturing practices and prompting scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers, and industry stakeholders.

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Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Willie Walsh, commended Calhoun and his leadership team for their swift response and commitment to addressing the issue. Despite initial anger within the industry following the incident, Walsh emphasized Boeing's proactive measures and expressed confidence in Calhoun's leadership to rectify the situation.

While acknowledging the severity of the safety concerns, Walsh dismissed suggestions for a change in leadership at Boeing, stating his belief that Calhoun is capable of resolving the crisis.

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Walsh also downplayed concerns about the incident affecting airline orders for Boeing planes or passenger confidence in flying on 737 MAX 9 aircraft, indicating a positive outlook for Boeing's future despite the recent setback.

Speaking ahead of the Singapore Airshow, Walsh addressed the buzz surrounding China's homegrown passenger jet, the C919, which made its debut outside Chinese territory. While acknowledging the C919's impressive debut, Walsh suggested that it could take significant time before Chinese aircraft manufacturers could compete effectively with established players like Boeing and Airbus on the international stage.

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Furthermore, Walsh discussed the ongoing challenges faced by the aviation industry due to supply chain disruptions, noting gradual improvements but emphasizing that the situation remains a significant concern.

(With Reuters inputs)
 

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 17:02 IST