The first painted winglets bound for a Malta Air Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have been spotted in Washington. The delivery of the 737 MAX will see Ryanair’s subsidiaries receiving aircraft in their own liveries for the first time.
Ryanair currently has 210 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order. Despite placing its first order for a 737 MAX in 2014, the airline is yet to take delivery of its first aircraft of the type. The first deliveries had been scheduled for April 2019. This was derailed when the 737 MAX was grounded in March of that year due to a second fatal crash in similar circumstances.
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First Malta Air 737 MAX now being built
Boeing has begun building its first 737 MAX aircraft for Ryanair’s subsidiary Malta Air. This was spotted by Twitter user Woodys Aeroimages, who posted a picture of the first completed winglets being stored outside Boeing’s final assembly hall.
— Woodys Aeroimages (@AeroimagesChris) January 17, 2021
It’s not currently clear how Ryanair will break its incoming fleet down between its subsidiaries. However, the confirmation that Boeing 737 MAXs will feature the Malta Air livery means that each subsidiary will take delivery of the 737 MAX. The first aircraft to be delivered will be in the classic Ryanair yellow and blue livery, with several aircraft already completed in Buzz, its Polish subsidiary’s livery.
Why haven’t we seen the Malta Air livery before?
Malta Air was launched in June 2019. While it is already a big part of Ryanair’s operations with 120 aircraft, they all have one thing in common. They all wear the Ryanair blue and yellow color scheme. This is the same case over at Buzz. All of these aircraft came from Ryanair.
Repainting an aircraft is costly. Repainting 120 is much more expensive. For a low-cost carrier such as Ryanair, such an expense is not ideal given that the repaint is not necessary. This is why the Malta Air and Buzz liveries aren’t yet flying. New aircraft have to be painted before delivery, with the cost included in the aircraft’s price. For Ryanair, it doesn’t make a difference which scheme the new aircraft are in from a financial perspective.
When will we see the new Malta Air livery?
It’s not clear when we’ll finally see the new livery in the skies around Europe. The Boeing 737 MAX remains grounded in Europe at the time of writing. Given that the first aircraft is yet to be built, it likely won’t be ready when the 737 MAX is recertified. Ryanair is hoping to take delivery of 50 new 737 MAX aircraft during 2021. Depending on how many MAX 200 aircraft are ready to go, this aircraft could be part of that 50.
Are you excited to see Ryanair’s new livery finally take to the skies? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!