Air Freight News

Emirates CEO says Boeing needs to get faster, stick to promises

The chairman of Emirates said he’s been given assurance by Boeing Co. management that the embattled planemaker will get its house in order following long delays on the 777X widebody, for which the Dubai airline is the biggest customer.

With the “delay that we see, I don’t think we’re happy,” Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said of the 777X airliner. “Management promised that they will change things and make things go faster — I hope so.”

Speaking in an exclusive interview in Dubai, Sheikh Ahmed said he recently met with Boeing executives, adding that management at the planemaker would be well advised “to keep up with any promise.” 

“I’m not saying we’re stuck, but there are only two players with Boeing and Airbus,” Sheikh Ahmed said, referring to the duopoly in the market for large commercial aircraft that’s split between the US and the European manufacturer. 

Emirates is among the biggest clients for Boeing and Airbus, having built its massive fleet of long-distance aircraft around products from both companies. The airline recently ordered more of Boeing’s 777X, which has been delayed to the middle of next year because of certification issues. As a result, the carrier is upgrading the interiors of older planes to extend their lifetime. 

Sheikh Ahmed said the company has a succession plan in place for top management should longtime President Tim Clark decide to step down. While Clark’s retirement plans are “something between us,” a recent reorganization of top leadership positions provides a clue of who might eventually replace him, Sheikh Ahmed said. 

In February, Emirates promoted Chief Operations Officer Adel Al Redha and Chief Commercial Officer Adnan Kazim to deputy president roles under Clark. Other potential successors include Gaith Al-Gaith, the head of Emirates’ regional partner FlyDubai, who has previously been identified by Sheikh Ahmed as a possible next president of the airline group. 

“Within the organization, you can always see the ones who are on top — they are the most likely when there is any change they will step in,” Sheikh Ahmed said. 



© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

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