Airbus Not Attacking Boeing – But Not Happy About Crisis

By Spyros Georgilidakis | March 19, 2024

In a recent comment, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury didn’t directly criticize Boeing, adding that the crisis doesn’t help anyone, including Airbus.

There is still a lot of frustration in the aviation industry in the aftermath of the blowout of a door plug of an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX-9. As we have seen this resulted in a production cap for the 737 family. Plus, Boeing abandoned any hope of getting an exemption, that would speed up the certification of the two remaining 737 MAX variants.

Airbus Not Attacking Boeing – But Not Happy About Crisis
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury in 2019. Photo: Junta de Andalucía, CC BY-SA 2.0

Guillaume Faury attended a conference in Berlin, Germany, where a reporter asked him to comment on the Boeing crisis. The Airbus CEO said that the company isn’t taking any pleasure from Boeing’s technical problems.

Faury added:

I am not happy with the problems of my competitor. They are not good for the industry a whole. We are in an industry where quality and safety is top priority.

Photo: Airbus

Boeing Safety Crisis – Can Airbus Benefit From it?

The measured response of the Airbus CEO to the crisis at Boeing isn’t surprising. As a general rule, Boeing and Airbus do not compete or attack each other on safety. A general uneasiness about airline safety could discourage many people from flying on any aircraft.

Airbus Not Attacking Boeing – But Not Happy About Crisis
Photo: NTSB

Others commenting on the Boeing crisis in Europe have been less diplomatic than the Airbus CEO. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that he prefers “…Airbus’ situation to that of Boeing”. And a few days ago, the acting executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), responded that the agency could stop rubber-stamping the FAA’s certifications of Boeing aircraft, “if necessary“.

In reality, such comments aren’t new. EASA and other aviation regulators have been looking much more closely into the FAA’s processes, since the two MAX crashes and the grounding that followed.

Photo: NTSB

As for Airbus, it is likely that the company can’t benefit substantially from the Boeing crisis, in any case. Even before January’s MAX-9 blowout, the European manufacturer was too busy ramping up production, to catch up with pandemic-era slowdowns.

Accelerating that ramp-up further, to account for any orders from airlines considering a switch from Boeing is easier said than done. Even if such a move were technically possible, Airbus’ suppliers would need quite a long time to react.


1 comment

  • Igor Griffiths

    As you point out both companies do not take advantage of safety or process failings in each other as travellers rightly should not have to concern themselves with what happens inside the hangar.

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