United Airlines is just about done with Boeing. Scott Kirby, CEO of the company, told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Tuesday morning that the manufacturing defects that have grounded the latest Boeing 737-9 MAX is the “the straw that broke the camel’s back for us. We’re going to at least build a plan that doesn’t have the Max 10 in it.””
United, the second-largest airline in the world, will look for alternatives to the 737-10, Boeing’s next version of the 737 which is still in approval stages. Boeing is the world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturer, after European multinational aerospace corporation Airbus, which is 25% owned by the governments of France, Germany, and Spain.
Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing, did not respond to the statement by United’s CEO, but said that the company is “taking action on a comprehensive plan to bring [737-9 MAX] airplanes safely back to service and to improve our quality and delivery performance. We will follow the lead of the FAA and support our customers every step of the way.”
A door plug blew out during an Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX flight on Jan. 5. The pilot was able to return to Portland safely, even though there was a refrigerator-sized hole in the fuselage, where passengers were terrified, leading to some lawsuits.
United has the biggest fleet of 737-9 MAX planes, although those represent a smaller percentage of overall aircraft for the company than Alaska Airlines, which has 65 of the jets that have been grounded by the FAA, fully 28% of its fleet of 231 jets made by Boeing.
The 737-10 MAX is the largest model of the 737, but has yet to be certified by the FAA.
Kirby said the 737-10 MAX plane is already about five years delayed, in the best-case scenario, and expressed frustration at Boeing for the most recent manufacturing problem in which a door plug blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight.
Kirby has been roasted on social media after a video surfaces of him dress in garish women’s garments, dancing and performing in drag in an outdoor public setting. Critics say United has gone down the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” rabbit hole, as have other airlines that have focused on LGBTQ issues and racial quota hiring practices.
Even Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas took to X/Twitter to give his opinion on United’s loss of credibility: