United Airlines CEO Asks Boeing to Halt Production of 737 MAX 10 Orders

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has politely told airplane manufacturer Boeing to stop making the 737 Max 10s the airline ordered.

It was ultimately a business decision.

Kirby simply has no faith that the plane will be manufactured and then delivered in due time, and is asking Boeing to build Max 9s instead.

“We’ve asked Boeing to stop building Max 10s, which they’ve done, for us and start building Max 9s,” Kirby said Tuesday. “It’s impossible to say when the Max 10 is going to get certified. We are in the market for A321s, and if we get a deal where the economics work, we’ll do something. If we don’t, we won’t and will wind up with more Max 9s.”

Kirby said as far back as January’s Alaska Airlines incident that he did not think Boeing would be able to fulfill its contractual obligations. United had ordered almost 300 of the 737 Max 10 planes and an option for 200 more.

Boeing has been severely criticized and scrutinized since the January 5 mishap, in which a door plug blew off on a plane mid-flight. The 737 series of planes has been carefully examined. It was also that family of aircraft that was involved in two separate fatal accidents five years ago.

Boeing did say it is adding weekly compliance checks for every 737 work area and additional audits of equipment to address quality control issues.

In the meantime, United has indeed ordered more A321neos from Airbus, the chief competitor to Boeing when it comes to airplane manufacturing.

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