Boeing: ‘Get your act together’, urges American Airlines CEO

'Get your act together', American Airlines CEO urges Boeing
"Quality and safety are paramount", Robert Isom told the plane maker (Image credit: Adobe Stock)

American Airlines CEO, Robert Isom, has urged Boeing to “get your act together” amid the ongoing safety crisis that has engulfed the plane maker since a door panel blew off an Alaska Airlines plane mid-flight in January.

Isom reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to the manufacturer but said American will protect itself should Boeing continue to flounder.

At American’s first-quarter earnings call yesterday, the CEO said: “I’ve talked to everyone at Boeing I could possibly address, and the message is the same: get your act together.

“It starts with producing quality products one at a time off the assembly line. Get back to the basics. Quality and safety are paramount.”

The Alaska Airlines incident in January has since forced Boeing to slow down aircraft production – and the airline industry has felt the knock-on effect.

US airlines have repeatedly warned they could pull their aircraft orders from Boeing.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines has had to adjust its strategy by reducing expansion plans, and United has asked its pilots to take time off work as the late deliveries mean less available flight hours than planned.

Isom added: “I can’t tell you if [Boeing is] making progress or not. It is all action that matters, not words.

“We will do everything we can to support Boeing. We need them to be successful in the long run, but we are going to make sure we are protected.”

“We have an order for an aircraft I absolutely love, which is the MAX 10, and will fit very well in our network. That doesn’t come until 2028.

“Hopefully Boeing has their act together to produce that aircraft and deliver it. If they can, great. If they can’t, we are going to be protected on that front, too.”

American expects to take delivery of a dozen more Embraer 175s and 22 mainline aircraft this year, comprising 16 737 MAX 8s, three 787-9s and three Airbus A321neos.

Despite the shortfall, American still expects to increase its full-year capacity in line with guidance, in the mid-single-digit per cent range, year on year.