Airline Head Says Boeing in 'Last Chance Saloon'

He said the company's manufacturing processes have declined.

Boeing’s reputation has taken a beating over the past few months as design and manufacturing issues have increasingly caused serious problems for the company’s jet liners. Now the head of a major international airline has warned that Boeing doesn’t have much runway left.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, told the Financial Times that Boeing is in the “last chance saloon.” His comments came as his company’s engineers are planning to personally overlook Boeing’s manufacturing operations, which Clark said have deteriorated as the company has put profits ahead of “engineering excellence.”

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“They have got to instill this safety culture which is second to none. They’ve got to get their manufacturing processes under review so there are no corners cut,” Clark told the publication.

This is not the first time that Boeing’s recent failures have drawn the anger of major airline executives. According to the Associated Press, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said his company will seriously consider alternatives to Boeing. And the CEO of Alaska Airlines, which lost the fuselage panel on one of its Boeing aircraft while in flight earlier this year, told NBC News, "I am more than frustrated and disappointed. I am angry."

Just this week, Boeing announced that it found more problems with the fuselage on its 737. This time the issues revolve around improperly drilled holes, which were discovered by Spirit AeroSystems, one of Boeing’s biggest suppliers. The aerospace manufacturer warned that the issues could delay delivery for about 50 aircraft.

Boeing CEO Stan Deal told employees, "While this potential condition is not an immediate safety issue and all 737s can continue operating safely, we currently believe we will have to perform rework on about 50 undelivered planes.”

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