Ryanair is currently hoping that it will receive its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in early 2021. The airline has firm orders for 135 MAX 200 aircraft, with a further order for the larger Boeing 737 MAX 10 potentially on the cards.
However, the aircraft ordered by the Irish LCC is slightly different from your standard Boeing 737 MAX 8. As such, the aircraft requires its own certification after the Boeing 737 MAX has been recertified. Let’s find out more.
200 seats on a 737
Ryanair is looking to outfit its Boeing 737 8 MAX aircraft with 200 seats. For comparison, Southwest’s 737 MAXs have 175 seats. To make this possible, Ryanair has ordered the 737 MAX 200, a specially designed high-capacity MAX 8 aircraft for low-cost carriers.
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According to SeatGuru, Ryanair’s current Boeing 737-800 aircraft have a pitch of at least 30 inches. This allows 189 seats to fit in the aircraft’s fuselage. Ryanair’s latest proposal, however, takes the cake for the smallest legroom found on economy seats in Europe. To provide 200 seats on its 737 MAX, the seats will be arranged with 28 inches of pitch, making the airline level with rivals such as Wizz and even Iberia.
Given these parameters, Ryanair will most likely outfit these aircraft with three lavatories, as is found on the airline’s current fleet. That means that the aircraft will have almost 67 passengers per toilet! However, such facilities are less essential for most travelers on the short hops that Ryanair is known for. Additionally, with the airline’s current rules meaning that passengers must ask to use the restroom, this will be well managed.
An additional emergency exit
To accommodate the higher number of passengers flying onboard the 737 MAX, Boeing has specially designed the MAX 200 for Ryanair. In addition to the four main doors and four overwing exits currently found on the Ryanair 737-800, an additional exit door will be placed on each side of the fuselage behind the wing. This means that the aircraft will have slightly more seats with extra legroom as it will have an additional emergency exit row.
Where will the Boeing 737 MAX 200 fly?
Ryanair mostly operates short hops across Europe, with some of its longer flights lasting around four hours. The airline’s longest flight was a one-off seven-hour 19-minute empty trek from Dublin to Monrovia in Liberia. 28 inches of pitch and a lack of bathrooms are far more bearable when traveling over shorter distances. However, when Simple Flying flew with Wizz, who also offer 28 inches of pitch, we had no complaints.
While Boeing has built the 737 MAX 200 for Ryanair, the Irish low-cost carrier isn’t the type’s only customer. The additional emergency exit will also be seen on aircraft in Vietnam, thanks to a sizeable order from VietJet. Perhaps 28 inches of the pitch will become the new normal in ultra-low-cost travel.
Ryanair is known for its cheap fares. Given fares as low as Ryanair’s, this seating arrangement is a win-win from both an efficiency and financial standpoint. From the economic point of view, the aircraft allows Ryanair to increase profit margins with a higher passenger load.
However, from an environmental point of view, Ryanair gets another double win. Firstly, emissions are already down because of the new engine technology. However, the emissions of the aircraft are also spread over more passengers, meaning that each passenger’s carbon footprint is lower.
What are your thoughts on Ryanair’s new plane? Would you mind flying with 200 other passengers? Let us know in the comments below!