IATA Chief Backs Boeing Leadership


In comments to Reuters, International Air Transport Association director general Willie Walsh affirmed his belief in Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, despite the continued issues with the 737 MAX project.


Walsh: “I’m Confident That [Calhoun] Will Fix It.”

The comments came before the Singapore Air Show, Asia’s biggest commercial aviation trade show. The stakes at this year’s show may be higher, as the Chinese state-owned COMAC is displaying their competitor to the 737, The C919.


When asked about Boeing’s continued issues – including the 737 MAX-9 door plug blowout in January 2024 – Walsh told reporters he believed in Calhoun and his leadership.


“Boeing are taking the right measures. I think they’ve responded much, much better to this than other events,” Walsh said to Reuters. “”I’ve heard people say you need a change in leadership. I disagree … I’m confident that he (Calhoun) will fix it.”


Moreover, Walsh said he didn’t anticipate that airlines will avoid ordering Boeing aircraft, including the 737 MAX, or flyers would avoid flying aboard the troubled airframe. After a short grounding by the Federal Aviation Administration, the 737 MAX was once again allowed to fly for Alaska Airlines and United Airlines by the end of January.


Prior to leading IATA, Walsh was the head of International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. In 2019, Walsh was in charge of IAG when they announced a order for 200 737 MAX airframes.


The comments come as airlines are offering hints of rethinking plans with the Boeing 737 MAX. In comments during a quarterly investor call, United chief executive Scott Kirby said while the airline isn’t cancelling their 737 MAX order, they are taking the MAX-10 variant “out of our internal plans.” Alaska Airlines chief executive Ben Minicucci also told reporters with their pending purchase of Hawaiian Airlines, “everything is open at this point” to potentially expand their fleet beyond Boeing aircraft.

Source: frugal travel guy

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