Ryanair has placed an order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The order, announced in a press conference with Ryanair and Boeing, comes following the aircraft’s ungrounding in the United States, with Europe set to follow in the coming weeks.
2020 hasn’t been the best year for Boeing 737 MAX orders. Indeed, ahead of today, only five of the type had been ordered: two for Poland’s Enter Air, with another three for an unidentified customer. Airlines haven’t been keen to order the aircraft while it was grounded. As such, today’s order by Ryanair will act as a massive boost for the 737 MAX program.
75 additional aircraft
Today Ryanair’s increased order pushed its total order for the “Boeing 737 8200” to 210 aircraft. As such, the deal is now worth over $22 billion. Interestingly, in his presentation on the order, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary referred to the aircraft without its MAX name. Throughout the 737 MAX crisis, many have suggested dropping the name from the aircraft. O’Leary signed the order in Washington at 7:19 this morning.
Commenting on the order, O’Leary said that the Boeing 737 MAX will be the “most scrutinized & audited aircraft in history”. O’Leary then remarked that “Airbus just don’t make aircraft as well as Boeing”, before adding,
“We are pleased and proud to place this enlarged order with Boeing, who have successfully completed the return to service of the Boeing MAX aircraft. We hope to take delivery of at least 50 of these aircraft in 2021, subject to Boeing recovering its manufacturing output to deliver them.”
Ryanair and the 737 MAX
While yet to receive its first aircraft of the type, Ryanair is no stranger to the Boeing 737 MAX. According to Boeing’s order books, before today’s addition, the airline was expecting a total of 135 737 MAX aircraft, following an initial order of 100 aircraft in 2014.
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Ryanair will operate a particular variant of the 737 MAX 8 known as the MAX 200. This aircraft will seat almost 200 passengers. To accommodate so many fliers, the aircraft has an additional emergency exit behind the wing. As a result, the type still requires separate certification beyond the main 737 MAX recertification. Additionally, as a European operator, Ryanair will need to wait for EASA and individual European nations to recertify the MAX before deliveries can begin.
A win for Boeing
While we will likely never know the full cost of Ryanair’s order, as such details are typically closely guarded, Ryanair was likely offered a handsome deal due to Boeing’s current position.
However, the order is, nevertheless, a win for Boeing. If Ryanair didn’t have confidence in the aircraft, it wouldn’t have placed today’s order, regardless of the price. Ryanair’s commitment to the type will potentially also restore confidence in the aircraft for other airlines.
Would you fly on the Boeing 737 MAX once Ryanair begins to take delivery of the aircraft? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!