Ryanair may not receive Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft until October, CEO Michael O’Leary has told a German newspaper. The news means that the Irish low-cost carrier could be without its “game-changer” aircraft during the busy summer season.
Ireland’s Ryanair is in the top ten of Boeing 737 MAX customers. The airline has 135 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX, an aircraft it’s calling the Boeing 737-8200. This is a modified version of the 737 MAX, able to carry up to 200 passengers. However, while the first deliveries of the aircraft were due in April last year, the 737 MAX grounding got in the way.
The Boeing 737-8200
The Boeing 737-8200, known by you and me as the 737 MAX, is essentially a Boeing 737 MAX 8 that has been converted to carry more passengers. Boeing has made the conversion just for Ryanair, and as a result, the Irish LCC is currently the only customer.
So, what sets apart the “737-8200” from the regular Boeing 737 MAX? Ryanair’s Boeing 737 MAX has an additional emergency exit built into the fuselage behind the wing. This allows the aircraft to carry the increased passenger capacity.
As a result, the aircraft needs to undergo separate certification to the base aircraft. This means that, despite being ready for delivery, Ryanair will likely experience a delay receiving the aircraft once the grounding is lifted.
What has O’Leary said?
According to German-language newspaper “WirtschaftsWoche“, the Irish Airline’s CEO said:
“We should have 58 machines by next summer. Then it went down to 30, then 20, then ten, and finally maybe only five. We may not get the first jets until October 2020.”
If Ryanair didn’t receive its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until October, it would mean that it would miss the airline’s busy summer season completely. This will mean lost profits for the airline, as it will have to close bases and slow expansion.
However, while other airlines such as Norwegian and Turkish Airlines have been agreeing on compensation with Boeing, this is not the case for the Irish airline. O’Leary added that he won’t discuss compensation with Boeing until he has the keys to some of the aircraft.
When exactly this will be is unknown, as no parties are able to put a firm timeline on the Boeing 737 MAX’s return to service. The manufacturer had previously targeted the new year. This is a deadline that was not met. Until the delivery of aircraft has resumed, it will be difficult to name an exact date, as things keep getting pushed back.
Simple Flying has contacted Ryanair for comment in relation to this story.
When do you think Ryanair will receive its first Boeing 737 MAX? Would you fly on the aircraft? Let us know your thoughts and reasoning in the comments!