General Industry

Ryanair's O'Leary Does Not Care Who Runs Boeing 'As Long As Problems Fixed'

By Reuters
Ryanair's O'Leary Does Not Care Who Runs Boeing 'As Long As Problems Fixed'

Ryanair's CEO is looking to Boeing's new head of commercial airplanes to fix problems that have delayed deliveries and held up his company's growth, but said on Thursday he did not care who becomes the overall boss.

Dave Calhoun on Monday said he would step down as CEO of Boeing by the year-end following the departure of the company's commercial plane-making chief and its chairman.

Top Job

Also on Monday, Boeing named Stephanie Pope as head of its commercial airplanes division, making her a contender for the top job.

Michael O'Leary said the most important thing was to fix the problems that have held up the expansion of Ryanair, Europe's largest airline and one of Boeing's biggest customers. He was speaking to reporters in Krakow, Poland, where Ryanair has invested in a pilot-training centre.

While he would have preferred Calhoun to stay on to complete the turnaround after a safety crisis, O'Leary said what was needed was for Pope to stay in Seattle and "get deliveries back on track".


'Two-Headed Monster'

"No, no, no. We want her in Seattle," O'Leary said when asked if Pope should be considered as a successor for Calhoun.

He described Boeing as "a big two-headed monster".

"Who runs Boeing in Washington and who deals with Congress, I don't give a shite," he said.

Production Management

O'Leary has nevertheless consistently backed Calhoun and has blamed Boeing's problems on production management.

A revolt by US airline bosses helped to topple Calhoun, people familiar with the discussions told Reuters.


The crisis at Boeing is set to leave Ryanair 17 aircraft short of the 57 Boeing MAX 8200 planes that were scheduled to be delivered by the end of April.

'Reasonably Confident'

O'Leary said on Thursday he was "reasonably confident" Boeing would meet Ryanair's request that the delayed aircraft be delivered in time for the 2025 summer holiday season, in addition to the 30 Boeing has already committed to provide.

The delays have forced Ryanair to cut some routes from its 2024 summer schedule, the period of the year when it makes most of its profit, and reduce its traffic forecast for the next 12 months.

O'Leary said that with Pope in charge in Seattle, Ryanair expects to "get a couple of extra aircraft in June and maybe July" enabling it to be possible add some additional routes.