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CEO Of United Says Boeing's Issues May Have Been Exacerbated By A Loss Of Skills

CEO Of United Says Boeing's Issues May Have Been Exacerbated By A Loss Of Skills
According to a senior United Airlines executive, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a broad loss of experience in the aviation business, which may have led to current issues at Boeing.
"Experience counts and they need to have a good experienced team righting the ship," Executive Vice President Finance Gerry Laderman told the Airline Economics conference in Dublin.
"Part of the problem for lots of industrial companies is nobody realised the difficulties that we were all going to get hit with as we came out of COVID," Laderman said.
"Principally the supply chain but also a lack of senior people and a lot of retirements: the knowledge base. That impacts everybody, and I think that is part of what happened at Boeing and ... it will take time."
Regarding whether the planemaker's management should be changed, Laderman stated he would not comment. On Monday, Boeing said that it was pulling out of a proposal for a crucial safety exception that would have enabled authorities to expedite the 737 MAX 7's certification.
Legislators have been putting pressure on the aircraft manufacturer to revoke the petition since a 737 MAX 9 mid-air cabin blowout on January 5 revealed multiple safety and quality control issues at one of the two largest jetmakers in the world.
Investigators are looking into if the Alaska Airlines aircraft has any missing or improperly placed bolts.
At this week's aviation finance event, the reactions of powerful executives like Laderman—who began at Continental before it merged with United in 2010 and is considered one of the most frequent buyers of Boeing aircraft—will be eagerly monitored.
Delegates to the conference expressed concern over Boeing's choice about the launch schedule of the bigger and more commercially successful MAX 10, whose certification was anticipated to follow that of the MAX 7.
Leading MAX 9 operator United was temporarily grounded for three weeks after the blowout.
Additionally, 277 of the larger MAX 10 have been purchased, for which Boeing is anticipated to request an exception.
Laderman sidestepped a question about United's attempts to acquire additional rival A321neos following Reuters' revelation that CEO Scott Kirby had recently travelled to Airbus to begin talks.
"I've stopped monitoring his travels... "I am aware that he is attending the United Leadership Conference today," stated Laderman, who will soon be retiring following his resignation as chief financial officer.
Few A321neos will soon be available due to high demand. According to Laderman, Airbus experiences a fair number of delivery issues.
"Yes, a Boeing problem exists. However, bear in mind that Airbus also faces problems, primarily pertaining to the supply chain, albeit for rather different reasons.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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