Ryanair Still Eyeing New Boeing 737 MAX 10 Order

Ryanair is eyeing another large order of 737 MAX 10 aircraft in the next year or year and a half. This comes on the heels of a major order announced by the carrier on December 3rd. A departure from the airline’s current size of aircraft, O’Leary might just go for the 230-seat MAX 10. This further stretch of the 737 would accommodate about 16% more passengers than its upcoming MAX 200 jets and 22% more than its current 737-800s.

Ryanair 737s
Except for a single 737-700 ‘corporate jet,’ Ryanair operates an all-737-800 fleet at the moment. Operating a single-type fleet takes advantage of efficiencies in terms of maintenance while offering operational flexibility. Photo: Getty Images

A follow-on order

Speaking with Reuters in an interview, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary says his airline hopes to agree to another large order of the 737 MAX jets with Boeing over the next 18 months and expects to be flying the 230-seat MAX 10 by 2025. This is what he told the news outlet:

“I would like to see a follow-on order some time over the next 12 or 18 months…Very much part of the agreement we announced today is that Ryanair are going to be at the front of the queue when Boeing are able to price a MAX 10 order and put together a delivery programme,” 

Ryanair, Boeing 737 MAX, 200 Seats
Ryanair is currently expecting to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in early 2021. Photo: Boeing

Expecting delays on the MAX 10

O’Leary told Reuters that he was in active discussions about the MAX 10 but also admitted that, from his perspective, the delivery timetable of the MAX 10 program looked likely to slip, saying “Boeing are busy having design issues, there are still some regulatory issues they are working their way through with the regulator on the MAX 10…I think regulators are looking for some further design work to be done so I think the delivery of the MAX 10 is going to slip back maybe 12-18 months.”

Ryanair, Boeing 737 MAX 10, New Order
It’s been more than six years since O’Leary placed his large order for the 737 MAX. It was in 2014 that the European budget airline finalized a deal for 100 737 MAX 200s. Photo: Getty Images

Ryanair’s recent order announcement

It was just this past week that the carrier placed an order for 75 more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Announced in a press conference with Ryanair and Boeing, the news comes following the aircraft’s ungrounding in the United States. On the other side of the Atlantic, Europe and EASA are set to follow with recertification in the coming weeks.

At the announcement event, O’Leary called the Boeing 737 MAX the “most scrutinized and audited aircraft in history,” addingAirbus just don’t make aircraft as well as Boeing.”

Indeed, these uncertain times, when the market is weak, can also be ideal times to strike a good deal. Ryanair’s calculated risk of going big with Boeing will likely have the airline save a fortune on its aircraft purchases. This, combined with the fuel efficiency of this new generation of 737, should translate to big profits for the airline, once travel is ‘back to normal’ again.

What do you think of Ryanair’s expansion plans? Is this a smart move? And what do you think of taking on the MAX 10? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.