MIAMI – UAE’s largest flag carrier Emirates (EK) is not happy with the progress that Boeing is making with the 777X jetliner.
Reuters reports today that EK president Tim Clark says that the uncertainty surrounding the delivery of the jet will cause significant disruption to the international carrier.
The jet is running about two and one-half years behind its original delivery date of 2020, and Clark wants to have a “grown-up conversation” with Boeing about when the plane will arrive.
“We work to precision. I struggle with others who can’t get that,” Clark told reporters shortly before he was due to meet Boeing at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) meeting in Boston. He added that the uncertain delivery date hinders EK’s ability to plan its fleet, which also includes various Airbus types.
Per the Reuters report, Clark has said that Emirates would refuse delivery of Boeing 777X jets that did not meet contractual agreements. On Tuesday he elaborated, saying that he would like to see industry contracts altered to make manufacturers more liable for the secondary effects of delays.
Boeing says the delays are caused by an extended certification period resulting from the problems surrounding the 737 MAX.
As it now stands, manufacturers take responsibility for product defects. But they do not stand liable for indirect “consequential damages” such as passenger compensation. Industry experts say that industrial suppliers are reluctant to take on commitments that create open exposure to airline operations.
Emirates has 126 Boeing 777X aircraft on order that are to replace its current triple sevens. Its fleet currently consists of 124 Boeing 777-300ERs and 10 777-200 LRs. In April, the carrier said that some of the 777X orders might be converted to orders for the 787 Dreamliner.
Clark also noted that EK’s finances are making a turn for the better as passengers return to the sky. The airline will report its first-half earnings next month.
Featured image: Boeing 777X production line in Everett (SEA). Photo: Lufthansa (launch customer)