Major European low-cost carrier Ryanair has disclosed its intention to deploy more of its engineering staff to oversee quality control processes at Boeing’s aircraft production facilities.
The move to gain further oversight becomes the latest move by the airline following the January 5 in-flight incident involving a US Alaska airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
Although they do not operate the 737 aircraft variant which is the subject of the current investigation, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary disclosed last week what he characterised as ‘minor issues’ with the quality standards of aircraft being delivered from the US manufacturers production facilities.
Ryanair Increased Oversight
“We ourselves have found minor issues on aircraft deliveries that shouldn’t be occurring in a world class manufacturer like Boeing and I think Boeing have more to do on the quality control side,” O’Leary stated last week.
In the latest development, according to The Independent, O’Leary said that the airline had agreed to increase its oversight at Boeing’s Seattle site and the Wichita site of its third-party supplier Spirit AeroSystems, where aircraft fuselages are built.
Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr O’Leary said: “I think we all as an industry, Boeing and the airline customers, want to be seen to be investing more in quality control of what’s coming off the line in Wichita and Seattle.”
With respect to the issue of fielding more airline engineering staff to assist in the oversight process, O’Leary stated: “Boeing are very welcoming of us putting in more engineers in Seattle.”
Boeing Quality Assessment
With respect to the address of its quality issues, Boeing has this week moved to appoint an independent advisor to lead the in-depth assessment of its commercial quality management system.
On Monday 16 January, Boeing named Admiral Kirkland H. Donald, U.S. Navy (Ret.) as special advisor to head up the assessment team.
On announcing the appointment, Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun emphasized the importance of strengthening oversight across the entire airplane production system.
“I’ve asked him to provide an independent and comprehensive assessment with actionable recommendations for strengthening our oversight of quality in our own factories and throughout our extended commercial airplane production system,” said Calhoun.
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