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Ryanair to step up oversight of Boeing

Ryanair will deploy more engineers to oversee quality control at US factories building Boeing aircraft for the airline.

Michael O’Leary, group chief executive at Ryanair, said the carrier has agreed to step up its activities at the manufacturer’s site in Seattle and Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, where fuselages are built.

This comes after a Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by US-based Alaska Airlines suffered a mid-air blowout on 5 January.

Ryanair does not have any Max 9 aircraft in its fleet, but uses other variants of the 737.

Mr O’Leary told reporters at a press conference in London: “I think we all as an industry, Boeing and the airline customers, want to be seen to be investing more in quality control of what’s coming off the line in Wichita and Seattle.

Michael O’Leary said Boeing are very welcoming of Ryanair putting more engineers in Seattle (file pic)

“Boeing are putting a lot of engineers on the line doing quality control, and we want to be seen as well to be investing in it.

“I think both Boeing have to improve the quality of what they’re delivering to customers, and customers have to be seen to be actually investing in improving the quality on the shop floor at Boeing as well.

“Boeing are very welcoming of us putting in more engineers in Seattle.”

Mr O’Leary expressed concern that the Alaska Airlines incident will lead to further delivery delays with Boeing aircraft.

He said the management team in Seattle “needs to be improved” but he gave his support for Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun, stating that he is “doing a stellar job in very tough circumstances”.

Mr O’Leary added: “We don’t need more senior management changes in Boeing.”

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