Airbus SE Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said rival Boeing Co.’s mishap with a 737 Max-9 model early January is a lesson for the entire industry to double down on safety, even as accidents become an increasingly rare occurrence in commercial aviation.
“It’s never good when an incident happens, whatever the type of plane,” Faury said at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday. “And this incident makes us very humble.”
The accident on the Alaska Airlines aircraft last month, whereby a fuselage panel came off during flight and left a gaping hole in the almost-new jet, has made the European company think over “what should we be doing to not be in that situation,” Faury said.
While investors have said Airbus stands to benefit from Boeing’s mishap and the ensuing tighter regulatory scrutiny on the US company, Faury has been careful not to appear as profiting from his arch-rival’s crisis. Still, the European planemaker is looking for ways to potentially win over customers loyal to Boeing as the US company is forced to slow production to improve quality.
Airbus, based in Toulouse in southern France, is set to report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Some analysts expect the company to raise its planned delivery target for this year by about 10% to around 800 aircraft. Airbus has gained about 7.3% this year, while Boeing has lost about 20% since the start of 2024.