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IATA Chief Backs Boeing Leadership

In comments before the Singapore Air Show, IATA director general Willie Walsh publicly put confidence behind Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun.
The leader of the world’s commercial aviation industry organization says he believes the current leadership at Boeing can fix the multitude of problems at the aerospace giant.


In comments to Reuters, International Air Transport Association director general Willie Walsh affirmed his belief in Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, despite the continued issues with the 737 MAX project.


Walsh: “I’m Confident That [Calhoun] Will Fix It.”

The comments came before the Singapore Air Show, Asia’s biggest commercial aviation trade show. The stakes at this year’s show may be higher, as the Chinese state-owned COMAC is displaying their competitor to the 737, The C919.


When asked about Boeing’s continued issues – including the 737 MAX-9 door plug blowout in January 2024 – Walsh told reporters he believed in Calhoun and his leadership.


“Boeing are taking the right measures. I think they’ve responded much, much better to this than other events,” Walsh said to Reuters. “”I’ve heard people say you need a change in leadership. I disagree … I’m confident that he (Calhoun) will fix it.”


Moreover, Walsh said he didn’t anticipate that airlines will avoid ordering Boeing aircraft, including the 737 MAX, or flyers would avoid flying aboard the troubled airframe. After a short grounding by the Federal Aviation Administration, the 737 MAX was once again allowed to fly for Alaska Airlines and United Airlines by the end of January.


Prior to leading IATA, Walsh was the head of International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. In 2019, Walsh was in charge of IAG when they announced a order for 200 737 MAX airframes.


The comments come as airlines are offering hints of rethinking plans with the Boeing 737 MAX. In comments during a quarterly investor call, United chief executive Scott Kirby said while the airline isn’t cancelling their 737 MAX order, they are taking the MAX-10 variant “out of our internal plans.” Alaska Airlines chief executive Ben Minicucci also told reporters with their pending purchase of Hawaiian Airlines, “everything is open at this point” to potentially expand their fleet beyond Boeing aircraft.

born sleepy February 21, 2024

Another overpaid C-suite dummy with good connections...

The only reason Boeing is still getting orders is because the Airbus pipeline is stuffed for decades.

BlueThroughCrimp February 20, 2024

Ex-737 pilot likes 737 producing company. Shocked I am.

toxman February 20, 2024

These "leaders" just stick together and kiss each others' you-know-whats. Calhoun needs to be lambasted then replaced with an actual engineer not some bean counter. 

urbanspaceman February 20, 2024

It truly is a human centipede for these guys who control our lives, in this case, literally lives and deaths. But rather than hold each other to account, they prefer to each give each other reach-arounds.It's clear that Boeing has severe quaity control porblems not just in civil aircraft, but in military:

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2024/02/05/boeing-pushes-back-t-7-plans-due-to-faulty-parts/" target="_blank" data-jsarwt="1" data-usg="AOvVaw1Ro-mvaQZvhpGQsp5tcP43" data-ved="2ahUKEwiCpO3p97mEAxUYRUEAHeNYAAUQFnoECBYQAQ" rel="noopener">"Boeing pushes back T-7 trainer plans due to faulty parts"
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2024/02/05/boeing-pushes-back-t-7-plans-due-to-faulty-parts/" target="_blank" data-jsarwt="1" data-usg="AOvVaw1Ro-mvaQZvhpGQsp5tcP43" data-ved="2ahUKEwiCpO3p97mEAxUYRUEAHeNYAAUQFnoECBYQAQ" rel="noopener">"Boeing delays 767 and Air Force tanker deliveries over supplier error""USAF KC-46A Tanker Still Facing Six Category 1 Deficiencies""Boeing’s Air Force One charges top $2 billion"and space:"Boeing engineers identified new issues relating to a faulty parachute system and wire harness tape used extensively through the Starliner capsule that was found to be flammable under some conditions.""Boeing used 'counterfeit' tools on NASA SLS rockets"If my customers' lives depended on such a problem-plagued supplier, I would be all over them like Ryanair: "Ryanair boss O'Leary made ‘loud complaints’ about lack of quality control""Ryanair has doubled the number of its engineers overseeing Boeing's production lines"But no, Willie Walsh choses to unroll that prehensile tongue of his and give Calhoun a thorough going-over.

Cedar Jet February 20, 2024

Must have been a large cheque.