Ryanair CEO welcomes Boeing leadership reshuffle amid 737 MAX delivery delays  

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Michael O’Leary, the outspoken Chief Executive Officer of Ryanair, has issued a video message in which he welcomes the leadership changes announced by Boeing on March 25, 2024. As Boeing’s largest customer in Europe with a fleet of 542 Boeing 737s on its books and many more on order, the endorsement by Ryanair may help to soothe some troubled minds at Boeing’s headquarters – if only a little. 

O’Leary has been scathing in his criticism of the beleaguered planemaker and those at the top of the organization since the incident involving an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 in January 2024. As a result of that incident, the US authorities have imposed production caps on Boeing meaning that Ryanair, along with a host of other carriers worldwide, will not receive the planes they were relying on to operate their full flying programs during the summer of 2024.    

On March 25, 2024, Ryanair shared O’Leary’s videotaped remarks on its X (formerly Twitter) account, which is well-known for featuring sharp-witted posts along with unedited and often sharp-tongued comments from its legendary CEO.  

“As Boeing’s largest airline customer here in Europe, Ryanair welcomes these management changes,” O’Leary said. “Stan Deal has done a great sales job for Boeing for many years, but he’s not the person to turn around the operation in Seattle and that’s where most of the problems have been in recent years.  

“We welcome and look forward to working with Stephanie Pope, together with Dave Calhoun and Brian West to eliminate Boeing delivery delays, both for Summer 2024 and into the autumn of 2024, so that hopefully we’ll have no delivery delays for Summer 2025.” 

Although having previously been scathing with his views on the ineptitude of Boeing executives over the recent 737 MAX issues, O’Leary was gracious enough to thank outgoing Boeing Commercial President and CEO Stan Deal, who announced his retirement on March 24, 2024. In his message, O’Leary acknowledged Deal “for his service over the past 30 years.”  

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The Irish carrier’s CEO also welcomed Pope, who Boeing announced has taken on the role Deal vacates with immediate effect. Ryanair, along with O’Leary, will be hoping that Stephanie Pope can turn things around at Boeing in very short order so that the Irish low-cost carrier can resume taking delivery of the aircraft it needs to fulfill its summer 2024 commitment to millions of its passengers already booked on its flights. 

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