Business Standard

Boeing pain spills over as airlines cut back on plans


Boeing’s disastrous start to 2024 is spilling over to airlines and their passengers as production delays at the US planemaker exacerbate an already nascent shortage of single-aisle jets that form the backbone of commercial air travel.

United Airlines Holdings, Southwest

Airlines and Ryanair Holdings are among the companies scrambling to respond to reduced deliveries from Boeing as the planemaker focuses on fixing quality lapses exposed by the Jan. 5 accident on an Alaska Airlines flight.

With the busy summer travel season in view, carriers say they’re trimming schedules and looking for alternativ­es to 737s they’ve already ordered, while also contending with issues afflicting narrowbodi­es from Airbus SE. Even Boeing seems uncertain when the planes will be ready as an army of US inspectors sift through its factories, meaning the company can’t make any firm prediction­s when things might return to normal.

“All they’re saying is as you’d expect: ‘We are working as hard as we can. We are sorry for your disruption. We’re doing the best we can,’” said John Plueger, chief executive officer of aircraft leasing company Air Lease. Boeing’s main competitor, is largely sold out through the end of this decade, so there isn’t an obvious place for airlines to turn. Like Boeing, the European planemaker has been struggling to raise production back to prepandemi­c rates. A separate engine-wear issue has grounded hundreds of Airbus planes, further denting aircraft availabili­ty.

Boeing said in a comment that the company is “squarely focused on implementi­ng changes to strengthen quality across our production system.

United Airlines Holdings, Southwest Airlines, Ryanair Holdings are among the firms scrambling to respond to reduced deliveries from Boeing

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