Industry trade

Boeing CEO warns of airline supply constraints and US-China trade

A Boeing-owned building that was the headquarters of Commercial Airplanes is seen in Renton, Washington, United States on May 14, 2021. REUTERS / Karen Ducey

Boeing Co (BN) chief executive Dave Calhoun said on Thursday there could be “supply constraints” from the summer after a “more robust” recovery than expected from the slowdown of aviation during the pandemic.

Speaking at a virtual Bernstein conference, Calhoun also said he expects Boeing to be able to deliver the “lion’s share” of around 100,787 aircraft in stock due to defects in the stock. production and weakened demand.

As US leisure travel becomes “gangbusters” and carriers must rehire and rebuild their networks and supply chains, Calhoun stressed the “likely supply constraints for some time.”

“I think that will mean that it is a healthy recovery and that they will return to previous price levels as soon as possible,” Calhoun added.

Boeing is working to emerge from a safety scandal following two fatal crashes to its 737 MAX airliner and a collapse in air travel during the pandemic.

It is also trying to decide on the timing of its next new aircraft program, a multibillion-dollar dilemma that has sparked internal debate and put at stake the future of America’s largest exporter, according to industry insiders.

Calhoun said it wouldn’t be “that long” before Boeing announced its plans, but said the aircraft manufacturer was not rushing the decision.

Either way, Calhoun said efficiencies on the plane should be found during design and assembly, as the next quantum leap in engine technology is years away.

Separately, Calhoun cautioned against US-China trade relations, saying he could not predict when a “thaw” would open up aircraft deliveries to one of the aviation markets. fastest growing in the world.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Qatar Airways was weighing a potential order of 30 or more freighters, sparking interest from Boeing (BA.N), which has started offering a cargo version of its upcoming 777X airliner.

In April, the Gulf carrier said it was interested in a 777X freighter but had not been notified by Boeing of its intention to launch one.

On Thursday, Calhoun pushed back on uncertainty about demand and certification challenges for the 777X, saying there would “always be roads” for the mini-jumbo. But he added that Boeing’s board has yet to approve a cargo version.

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