Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said he has seen a “progressive decline” in standards at Boeing, the aircraft manufacturing giant.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the airline boss warned that Boeing was in the “last chance saloon” as he prepared to send his own engineers to oversee the plane maker’s production line.
Sir Tim told the newspaper a drop in standards had been caused due to long-running management and governance mis-steps, which included prioritising financial performance over engineering excellence.
The Emirates boss added: “They have got to instil this safety culture which is second to none. They’ve got to get their manufacturing processes under review so there are no corners cut.”
His comments come after Boeing’s reputation came into disrepute when an Alaska Airlines aircraft experienced a mid-flight blowout of a panel, causing it to make an emergency landing. Last month, Alaska Airlines said it is facing a cost $150mn as a result.
The incident has also raised serious safety concerns amongst other US airlines that have already placed orders for Boeing aircraft.
Budget airline Ryanair has already offered to pick up the planes if any US airline cancels the order, due to safety worries.
In light of the Alaska Airlines incident, Timothy Loranger, a pilot and US civil attorney, raised questions on the Boeing crisis on EVA’s The Aviation Briefing podcast: “Safety standards are a big concern and the big question is … ‘what’s happening at Boeing that creates an environment where these standards start to slip?'”
“There’s nothing more important in aviation [and] in the assembly and manufacturing of these aircraft than safety.
“What is the concern that [Boeing is] focused on that is more important than safety? Is that the budget, is that profit margin? Those are the kinds of things we’re concerned about.”
ARGS approached Boeing for comment.
Image credit: Bloomberg Television/YouTube