New Boeing Chairman leads path to bring airline bosses back on board: reports

Steve Mollenkopf Boeing Chairman
Jordan Curet/Fortune Brainstorm Tech/Creative Commons

The new Boeing Chairman Steve Mollenkopf is reaching out to airline CEOs in an attempt to reaffirm relationships with its biggest customers, according to Bloomberg, which spoke with people familiar with developments. 

Mollenkopf, who was elected by the board to succeed Larry Kellner as independent board chair, reportedly canceled formal meetings with key US carriers and is instead opting to speak directly with the heads of American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.   

In March 2024, the Wall Street Journal reported that heads of several airlines had requested a meeting with members of the Boeing board to air their frustrations. 

Boeing CEO David Calhoun was said to have supported the meeting but was not expected to attend.  

Along with mounting scrutiny of Boeing by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the request for this meeting appears in part to have been a catalyst for Calhoun’s decision to stand down at the end of 2024. 

With Mollenkopf reportedly now approaching the US airline CEOs directly it appears that this course of action was considered the best approach.  

Boeing delivered around 40 737 MAXs a month at the end of 2023, but this figure is expected to fall to nearer 15 in the near future. 

Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines are all waiting on deliveries of jets that are now facing delays. 

The delays in deliveries are forcing airlines to rejig schedules for the year and reevaluate finances.  

On March 29, 2024, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) wrote to United pilots to advise them of an offer to take unpaid leave in May 2024 due to Boeing aircraft delivery delays.     

“Due to recent changes to our Boeing deliveries, the remaining 2024 forecast block hours for United have been significantly reduced,” ALPA said in a note to members. “While the delivery issues surround our 787 and 737 fleets, the impact will affect other fleets as well.”   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!