Ryanair is the latest airline to have appeared to tweak with the Boeing 737 MAX branding. Images from Seattle appear to show that they are rebranding their aircraft to the Boeing 737-8200.
The Boeing 737 MAX has now been grounded for around four months. While some airlines are continually pushing back the MAX’s re-entry to service, others are considering the public’s perception of the aircraft. Indeed, it seems as though carriers are slowly trying to drop the MAX terminology from the aircraft’s branding.
Why replace the MAX terminology?
Why are people trying to rebrand the Boeing 737 MAX? The Boeing 737 MAX has been involved in two fatal accidents. The first saw a Lion Air flight crashing leaving Jakarta which crashed into the sea, tragically, leaving no survivors. This was followed in March this year when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa. Again, there were no survivors.
Given the prevalence of the internet and specifically social media, the news of the crashes didn’t go unnoticed. This saw many speculating on how a brand new aircraft could crash twice in similar circumstances. When the aircraft was eventually grounded, everybody from aviation experts to occasional travelers knew about it. The aircraft’s tragic accidents have tainted its reputation for many.
According to photos from the Twitter user @AeroimagesChris, Ryanair’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are being rebranded. It is customary for Boeing aircraft to include the aircraft type on the side. This previously saw “737 MAX” added to the side of the aircraft.
— Woodys Aeroimages (@AeroimagesChris) July 15, 2019
However, the airline’s fifth 737 MAX has something different written: “737-8200”. The 8 recognizes that the aircraft is based on the MAX 8. Additionally, the 200 represents the 200 passengers the aircraft will be able to carry. Personally, I think 8200 is a bit too long-winded.
However, it’s not a complete surprise that this has happened. Indeed, in press releases, the Irish low-cost airline has already gone from referring to the aircraft as “New Max Aircraft” to referring to the “new Boeing 737 “gamechanger” aircraft”.
Ryanair’s Boeing Order
The 200 seater Boeing 737 MAX is a key part of Ryanair’s future strategy. The Ryanair Group currently has 456 Boeing 737 aircraft. These are all Boeing 737-800s with the exception of one 737-700.
Ryanair has ordered 135 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing, however, they are reportedly interested in purchasing more of the aircraft. This brings the airline’s total 737 order book to 666 aircraft, according to the manufacturer’s data.
Ryanair was due to receive their first MAX 200 aircraft in April, however, due to the aircraft’s grounding, this was understandably pushed back. As a result, Boeing is having to use staff car parks to store the aircraft being produced.
Simple Flying contacted Ryanair regarding the rebrand, however, was yet to hear a response at the time of publishing.
What do you think of Ryanair’s 737 MAX rename? Let us know in the comments!