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Emirates Chief: Deliver Reliable Planes or We Refuse New Aircraft

Emirates Chief: Deliver Reliable Planes or We Refuse New Aircraft
Jeff Edwards

Emirates President Tim Clark has issued an unprecedented ultimatum to aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus. The frustrated airline executive told reporters in London that the Gulf carrier will refuse to accept delivery of new aircraft unless the manufacturers are able to offer guarantees that the equipment will perform as promised.

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark put the multi-billion dollar aircraft manufacturing industry on notice this week. The fed-up Gulf carrier chief specifically called out Boeing and Airbus, as well as engine-makers Rolls-Royce and General Electric, telling reporters that his airline is prepared to refuse delivery of any new aircraft unless promises about the planes’ reliability, performance and specifications are fully guaranteed. The move comes after a number of well-publicized glitches, recalls and mechanical issues with newly delivered aircraft.

“That’s not going to happen any more, that’s it,” Clark said in public comments this week first reported by Bloomberg. “When they are ready to give us what they are contracted to do then we will have an assessment of the number and type of aircraft that are going to be used.”

Clark reportedly compared the current situation involving aircraft manufacturers with buying a luxury car only to be told by the dealership that the engine will need to be changed after three months. He also expressed a growing irritation at production woes that have indefinitely delayed the availability of the highly anticipated Boeing 777X aircraft.

Clark’s comments come just months after the airline greatly reduced an existing Airbus A380 order. The decision has had Boeing officials nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop for months.

“Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its very inception,” Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said at the time. “While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the program could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation. For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew. It is a differentiator for Emirates. We have shown how people can truly fly better on the A380, and Emirates has set the standards for that by introducing customer experiences that are unique to the A380 like our Shower Spas and Onboard Lounge. The A380 will remain a pillar of our fleet well into the 2030s, and as we have always done, Emirates will continue to invest in our onboard product and services so our customers can be assured that the Emirates A380 experience will always be top-notch.”

Clark’s comments regarding the 777X represent especially bad news for Boeing (which is in desperate need of good news). Emirates is set to be the launch partner for the new 777X – a deal involving 150 planes which was billed at the time as “the single largest order for a new airplane from Emirates and the single largest airplane order ever in the world.”


[Featured Image: Boieng]

View Comments (3)


  1. horseymike

    September 6, 2019 at 4:15 am

    it is about time the aircraft companies were called out on this. they know how to build safe planes. they need to do it.

  2. dliesse

    September 6, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Maybe if the manufacturers put the engineers back in charge, rather than the marketers, things might improve.

  3. nadabrainiac

    September 6, 2019 at 11:34 am

    “his airline is prepared to refuse delivery of any new aircraft unless promises about the planes’ reliability, performance and specifications are fully guaranteed.”

    It’s rather disturbing that this is billed as “bad news” for Boeing. It would be far more comforting if this wasn’t even considered to be news or any other kind of issue, just standard practice.

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