Lufthansa chair and CEO Carsten Spohr gave a wide-ranging interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Saturday (11 May), and gave US plane maker Boeing a vote of confidence, despite recent delays and safety concerns that have negatively affected global aviation – and the German carrier’s bottom line. 

The experienced airline executive described Boeing’s delivery delays as “extremely annoying” and costly. But Spohr maintained he had confidence in the provider, telling the Swiss press he was “sure that Boeing will get the problems under control.”

He said the industry as a whole has “an interest in Boeing being able to build great aircraft more reliably again”. 

Lufthansa, which also flies Airbus jets, is in a unique position regarding Boeing. Although Germany’s flag carrier has included 737-family planes in its fleet since 1967, it had paused purchasing new models since 1995. 

This nearly 30-year pause came to an end in December, when it ordered 40 737-8’s with an option for a further 60. 

Spohr said customers have no need to worry about the safety of Lufthansa’s Boeing fleet. “Every aircraft we order, whether it comes from Airbus or Boeing, is accompanied during production by our engineers to ensure our own quality standards,” he explained. 

But asked if the airline might be tempted to diversify its fleet with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC)’s C919, Spohr derided the nation’s aviation manufacturing safety. 

“Given the safety standards that we set at the Lufthansa Group, I don’t think that’s realistic for the next few years,” he told the NZZ.

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