Boeing and Ryanair have announced Europe’s leading low-cost airline has selected the largest 737 MAX model to power its future growth with an order for up to 300 airplanes. The purchase agreement is the biggest in Ryanair’s history and includes a firm order for 150 737-10 jets and options for 150 more.
Boeing said that Ryanair has deployed a growing fleet of 737-8-200s to accelerate its post-pandemic recovery and meet strong travel demand. The 197-seat 737-8-200 model has helped the airline reduce fuel use and emissions by over 20 per cent compared to the aircraft they are replacing. The new order adds the larger 737-10 variant, which offers Ryanair 228 seats and the best unit economics of any single-aisle aircraft Boeing claims.
“Ryanair is pleased to sign this record aircraft order for up to 300 MAX 10s with our aircraft partner Boeing. These new, fuel-efficient, greener technology aircraft offer 21 per cent more seats, burn 20 per cent less fuel and are 50 per cent quieter than our B737-NGs,” said Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s Group CEO.
“We expect half of this order will replace older NGs while the remaining 150 aircraft will facilitate controlled, sustainable growth to just over 300m guests per annum by 2034. This order, coupled with our remaining Gamechanger deliveries, will create 10,000 new jobs for highly paid aviation professionals over the next decade, and these jobs will be generated across all of Europe’s main economies where Ryanair is currently the No.1 or No.2 airline,” O’Leary said.
“In addition to delivering significant revenue and market growth opportunities across Europe, we expect these new larger more efficient aircraft to drive further unit cost savings, which will be passed on to passengers in lower air fares. The extra seats, lower fuel burn and more competitive aircraft pricing supported by our strong balance sheet, will widen the cost gap between Ryanair and competitor EU airlines for many years to come, making the Boeing MAX 10 the ideal growth aircraft order for Ryanair, our passengers, our people and our shareholders.”
“The Boeing-Ryanair partnership is one of the most productive in commercial aviation history, enabling both companies to succeed and expand affordable travel to hundreds of millions of people,” said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. “Nearly a quarter century after our companies signed our first direct airplane purchase, this landmark deal will further strengthen our partnership. We are committed to delivering for Ryanair and helping the airline group achieve its goals.”
This new order will be posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalized.
The huge order is in stark contrast to the spat of a year ago when negotiations were broken off with Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary lashing Boeing over delayed deliveries of the 737 MAX.
In an extraordinary and sometimes heated investor earnings call Mr O’Leary said at the time that the delays had forced the airline to pull back its critical summer schedules.
At the time, according to CNN, Mr O’Leary said: “At the moment we think Boeing management is running around like headless chickens, not able to sell aircraft, and then even the aircraft they deliver, they’re not able to deliver them on time.”
Mr O’Leary is quoted in Business Insider as saying: Boeing staff need a “reboot, or a boot up the a–,” and accused the sales team of “sitting at home in their f—ing jimjams working from home instead of being out there selling planes to customers.”
“We’re a willing customer, but we’re struggling with slow deliveries and an inability to do a deal on new aircraft despite the number of whitetails they have sitting on the f—ing ground in Seattle,” he said.
At the time there were a large number of whitetails (unsold) 737 MAX aircraft available but apparently, Boeing couldn’t get its act together to help Ryanair.
“There’s growth there to be won,” but Mr O’Leary said in order to do that, Boeing would need to “get their s— together.”
Clearly, Boeing did get their act together.