Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun said there could be “supply constraints” from the summer after a “more robust” recovery than expected from the slowdown in the aviation during the pandemic.

Mr Calhoun added that he expects Boeing to be able to deliver the “lion’s share” of around 100,787 planes in stock due to production flaws and weakened demand.

With pleasure travel to the United States becoming “gangbusters” and carriers having to rehire and rebuild their networks and supply chains, Calhoun highlighted likely supply constraints for some time.

“I think that will mean that this is a healthy recovery and that they will return to previous price levels as soon as possible,” Calhoun added.

Boeing is working to emerge from a safety scandal following two fatal crashes to its 737 Max airliner and a collapse in air travel during the pandemic.

It is also trying to decide the timing of its next new aircraft program, a multibillion-dollar dilemma that has sparked internal debate and put at stake the future of America’s largest exporter, industry insiders have said. .

Mr Calhoun said it would not be “that long” before Boeing announces its plans, but said the plane’s manufacturer is not rushing the decision.

Either way, Calhoun said efficiencies on the plane should be found during design and assembly, as the next quantum leap in engine technology is years away.

Separately, Calhoun cautioned against the U.S.-China trade relationship, saying he couldn’t predict when a “thaw” would open up aircraft deliveries to one of the country’s markets. fastest growing aviation in the world.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Qatar Airways was weighing a potential order of 30 or more freighters, sparking interest from Boeing, which has started offering a freight version of its upcoming 777X airliner.

In April, the Gulf carrier said it was interested in a 777X freighter but had not been notified by Boeing of its intention to launch one.

Mr Calhoun objected to the uncertainty over demand and certification challenges for the 777X, saying there will “always be roads” for the mini-jumbo. But he added that Boeing’s board has yet to approve a cargo version.