Ryanair Casts Doubts On Delivery Timeline Of First 737 MAX 200

A month ago Ryanair said the delivery of its first 737 MAX aircraft would be imminent with the aircraft passing certification in both the US and Europe. The airline is now reportedly worried that it won’t receive any MAX “gamechanger” jets before the start of the summer peak.

Buzz Livery, Boeing 737 MAX 200, Ryanair
Ryanair revealed it may not have a Boeing 737 MAX to fly this summer. Photo: Getty Images

Ryanair is set to become one of the larger operators of the Boeing 737 MAX. The carrier had expected to take its first MAX jet in April 2019, although this was derailed by the type’s worldwide grounding. Now that deliveries have resumed, the airline is still yet to receive its first example of the latest generation narrowbody.

A hold-up?

It seems that there has been a holdup when it comes to the delivery of Ryanair’s 737 MAX aircraft, with Reuters reporting that Ryanair may have none of the new aircraft until after 2021’s summer period. Around a month ago it seemed that the first delivery of the jet would happen in a matter of days with every box having been seemingly ticked.

This didn’t turn out to be the case. As of today, the Irish low-cost carrier is still yet to take delivery of its first latest generation 737. According to O’Leary, Boeing has told the Irish carrier to expect the first plane by the end of the month.

Ryanair, Boeing 737 MAX 10, New Order
Ryanair has one of the larger Boeing 737 MAX orders. Photo: Getty Images

No MAX planes this summer?

Ryanair is apparently preparing for a summer sans 737 MAX. According to Reuters, Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary commented,

“As the management team in Seattle continues to mismanage that process I think there is a real risk we might not see any of these aircraft in advance of summer 2021.”

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All hands on deck during summer

If the aircraft doesn’t materialize before summer, there is a chance that Ryanair would not accept them until after the season. Typically, during the peak summer months, all hands are on deck in the maintenance department ensuring that the airline’s existing fleet remains in the skies.

This means that there is no additional capacity to facilitate an entry to service check on a new aircraft. The airline faces an additional challenge with the first aircraft. Being the leader will mean that the aircraft perhaps undergoes an even more thorough check than usual.

Ryanair, Boeing 737 MAX, Milan
Early 737 MAX deliveries could end up based at Milan Bergamo Airport. Photo: Getty Images

Of course, there is always the chance that the situation could be slightly different due to the current climate in the aviation industry. The above scenario assumes that Ryanair is operating at maximum capacity this summer. Given the current state of the industry, it seems unlikely that the airline will operate close to pre-pandemic flight levels. As such, one would expect less strain on the airline’s maintenance departments.

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson previously revealed that the first 737 MAX aircraft should be expected to be based where the airline has significant maintenance capabilities such as London Stansted and Milan Bergamo.

When do you think Ryanair will take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX jet? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!