Boeing’s woes a ‘burden’ for entire sector, Airbus executive says

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Safety and quality problems exposed at Boeing following a door plug blowout earlier this year risk shaking travellers’ confidence in flying, a top executive at rival Airbus said.

Christian Scherer, CEO of Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft business, told German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche that the issues were “a burden for the entire industry”.

“Boeing’s problems could cause more people to question how safe flying actually is,” Scherer was quoted as saying.

Boeing has been under mounting pressure over factory controls since Jan. 5, when a door plug in mid-flight tore off a jet of its best-selling 737 MAX series in an incident blamed on missing bolts.

Scherer rejected claims that Airbus could raise its own jet prices as a result of Boeing’s problems, adding that pricing was guiding purely by demand outstripping supply and that it was difficult to predict how things would pan out in the future.

“I dare say that an ailing competitor can behave in a relatively unpredictable manner. If a company has dozens of planes in stock involuntarily, it could start a major sell-off.”

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Jason Neely)