Boeing 737 Max blowout 'makes us very humble,' says Airbus CEO

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Boeing 737 Max blowout 'makes us very humble,' says Airbus CEO
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images
  • Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury commented on Boeing's troubles on Monday.
  • He said an incident is never good, "whatever the type of plane."
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The CEO of Airbus gave a diplomatic response to Boeing's troubles following the Alaska Airlines blowout.

"This incident makes us very humble," Guillaume Faury said Monday at the World Governments Summit in Dubai.

"With our competitor and with the rest of the industry, we share the objective of safe flights, safe modes of transport for aviation. So that's never good when an incident is happening, whatever the type of plane," he added.

Last month, a Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines lost part of its fuselage in midair. Nobody was seriously injured as the plane returned to Portland International Airport 20 minutes after takeoff, but it has sparked scrutiny of Boeing from airline chiefs.

In its preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane left Boeing's factory missing four crucial bolts. They were designed to secure the door plug, which covers a deactivated emergency exit on Max 9 jets laid out with fewer passengers than the maximum capacity.

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It was only luck that meant nobody died, according to Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci. He said just seven seats on the 178-capacity jet were unoccupied, which happened to include those next to the gaping hole.

The CEO of United Airlines, which is Boeing's biggest customer, then suggested he could change its order following the grounding of 171 Max 9 jets.

Scott Kirby said he was concerned that certification of the 737 Max 10, the largest version of the single-aisle jet, could face further delays. United has 150 such planes on order.

Bloomberg reported that Airbus then contacted some customers to try to free up delivery slots in attempts to make a deal with United.

However, the European manufacturer has been careful not to gloat about its rival's woes.

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Faury said: "We're just thinking, again and again and again, what should we be doing not to be in that situation? Are we well-protected from events?

"We're always challenging ourselves on what we do, on what we don't do, on what we should be doing differently to try to get better, and we take learnings from everywhere," he added.

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