- Written by Peter Hoskins
- business reporter
Emirates' president has warned that Boeing is in a “last chance saloon” and said there is a “progressive decline” in performance.
Boeing came under intense scrutiny last month after a panel on its 737 Max 9 jet was blown off in the air.
Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, is a major figure in the industry and the airline is also a major customer of Boeing.
He also told the Financial Times that Emirates plans to send engineers to monitor Boeing's production lines.
In response to Sir Tim's comments, Boeing pointed to comments made last week by its chief executive Dave Calhoun, saying: “We understand the reasons for that.” [customers] They are angry and we will try to earn their trust.”
Emirates told the BBC it had nothing to add to Sir Tim's interview.
“They have to instill this culture of safety that is second to none. They have to review their manufacturing processes to make sure they don't cut corners,” Sir Tim said.
“I’m sure Dave Calhoun and [commercial head] “Stan Diehl is working on it…this is the last chance saloon,” he added.
Sir Tim was preparing to send Emirates engineers to monitor Boeing's production line for the first time.
He said the engineers will tour the 777 production process at Boeing and its supplier Spirit AeroSystems.
Emirates is one of Boeing's largest customers.
In November, it ordered 95 wide-body Boeing 777s and 787s for long-haul flights worth $52bn (£41.2bn) at list price.
On January 5th, the door plug of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 blew off shortly after takeoff, scaring passengers and forcing an emergency return to the Portland, Oregon, airport.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into Boeing's manufacturing processes and banned the company from expanding production of its popular 737 Max aircraft.
Some of the airline's major airline customers also expressed concern, saying the issue could delay approval of new versions of the 737 Max, the Max 7 and Max 10, currently in development.
In 2018, an accident similar to the one that occurred last month occurred on an older Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines. While the plane was flying at an altitude of 32,000 feet, debris from the engine failure broke one of the cabin windows. As a result, one passenger was partially sucked out of the window and died from his injuries.
The company's safety record was also marred by two crashes, one off the coast of Indonesia in late 2018 and one outside Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa in early 2019.
A total of 346 people died in the crash, which was caused by a defect in the flight control software.