While you may have assumed that Ryanair would spread its huge MAX order equally between its subsidiaries, this isn’t the case. More aircraft have flown for Malta Air under the 9H registration than for Ryanair and Buzz combined. It seems as though the Ryanair Group is actively looking to boost the number of MAX aircraft in the Malta Air fleet.
While Ryanair has traditionally not strayed far from its blue and yellow livery, things are changing with the arrival of the new Boeing 737 MAX fleet. The airline’s jets are now painted in three different liveries depending on their operator, though this isn’t always the case.
More MAXs for Malta Air
According to data from ch-aviation.com, Malta Air has taken delivery of more than half of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that have so far been delivered to the Ryanair Group. So far, the airline has taken 22 of Boeing’s latest generation narrowbody jets.
Polish subsidiary Buzz, formerly Ryanair Sun, has the fewest MAX jets, with just eight on the books so far. Meanwhile, the main Irish Ryanair airline has 11 Boeing 737 MAX 200 jets registered. Neither Ryanair UK nor Lauda has any MAX planes. It seems as though Ryanair is actively ensuring that Malta Air takes more of its MAX order, at least at the start. Broadly speaking, Ryanair is having each MAX painted in the colors of its operators.
However, 9H-VUU is an exciting break from this rule. The airline is registered to Malta Air but wears the Ryanair colors, suggesting it was bound for the Irish low-cost carrier’s primary subsidiary when Boeing painted it. ch-aviation.com reveals that the aircraft first flew in June, indicating that Boeing didn’t paint it before the MAX’s grounding and subsequent delivery pause.
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The top subsidiary for MAX operations
Unsurprisingly, with more MAX jets than the other two subsidiaries combined, Malta Air also has more flights scheduled with the type than Buzz and Ryanair combined. According to schedule data from aviation data experts Cirium, almost 4,700 Boeing 737 MAX flights are planned across the Ryanair Group during January. Of these, Malta Air is responsible for 59%.
The Ryanair Group expects to operate 505 aircraft this summer. This includes 409 Boeing 737-800 planes, alongside Lauda’s 29 Airbus A320s. Ryanair currently has 41 737 MAX planes, which suggests the low-cost giant is expecting around 25 more MAX jets to be flying in time for summer.
Ryanair is investing $22 billion into its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft fleet, expected to number 210 when complete. There is good reason for the spending though. The aircraft carry 4% more people while burning 16% less fuel. This means that income per flight can rise while costs will fall.
The aircraft is also 40% quieter. While this is a benefit for those residents around airports, it could also prove to be a money saver at some airports that charge fees based on an aircraft’s noise footprint. Frankfurt Airport is one of these airports, though Ryanair recently revealed its days at Germany’s biggest airport are numbered.
Have you flown on a Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX yet? Which subsidiary did it belong to? Let us know in the comments!