ZURICH, May 12 (Reuters) - Aircraft delivery delays from Boeing are "extremely annoying" and cost Lufthansa lots of money, but the U.S. planemaker should be able to resolve its problems, the German airline's CEO said in a newspaper interview.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr was direct when asked by Switzerland's Neue Zuercher Zeitung how badly recent setbacks at Boeing and subsequent delivery hold-ups were affecting his firm.

"This is extremely annoying and costs us a great deal of money," Spohr said in the interview published at the weekend. "However, I am sure Boeing will get the problems under control."

The Lufthansa boss said the industry needs two strong providers, referring also to Boeing's European rival Airbus .

"Everyone has an interest in Boeing being able to build great aircraft more reliably again soon," he added.

Asked whether he could imagine buying Chinese aircraft, Spohr played down the prospect.

"Given the safety standards we apply at the Lufthansa Group, I don't think that's realistic for the coming years," he said.

Spohr was optimistic that a planned stake purchase by Lufthansa in Italy's ITA Airways would get regulatory approval, and said he would not be prepared to give up transatlantic flights to North America as a concession to get the go-ahead. (Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Jan Harvey)