By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Emirates president Tim Clark said that the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max is 'compromising' Flydubai's growth
Boeing competitor Airbus likely “cannot meet the obligations” necessary to meet existing orders for the embattled Boeing 737 Max, according to Emirates president Sir Tim Clark.
In an interview with CNN, Clark said that Airbus and Boeing each had approximately 6,000 various backlogs of aircraft on order.
“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.”
A number of airlines around the world – including Flydubai – were forced to ground their Max aircraft earlier this year following the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in March. The incident was the second fatal crash involving the max.
Clark added that he doesn’t “see much going on” with regards to Boeing’s work to get the 737 Max airborne again.
“Perhaps I’m being a bit disingenuous to Boeing, but it’s important that the regulators get this one sorted out,” he said, adding that he believes the aircraft will fly again “sometime in the first quarter of next year, calendar – January, February, March, latest [by] April.”
However, Clark said that Boeing – which is “haemorrhaging cash” – will eventually “get it right.”
Additionally, Clark said that he believes that he believes Boeing’s delivery of 150 777x aircraft to Emirates – which were due to be delivered in June – is likely to 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 calendar,” he said.
In his remarks, Clark also said that he believes Brexit – which he said “has been pretty ugly” over the last several years, 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 destabilisation 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.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.