Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has completed its first Boeing 737 MAX flight. The airline took delivery of its first two max aircraft last week, with the first coming a week ago yesterday. The airline hopes to take 12 of the aircraft throughout the summer.
It’s been a long road for Ryanair regarding the Boeing 737 MAX’s entry into service. The airline had intended to fly its first MAX planes in April 2019, but as we all know now, that wasn’t possible. Even when the particular variant ordered by Ryanair was finally certified earlier this year, the European giant still faced a sizeable wait.
First Boeing 737 MAX flight
When Ryanair took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX, the aircraft was flown to its home in Dublin. Despite this, it had been widely believed that the aircraft would be based at London Stansted Airport, the airline’s largest hub.
It seems as though this might come true after all. Last night, the airline operated its maiden Boeing 737 MAX flight to London Stansted. The flight departed Dublin (DUB) as FR272 on time at 20:35, according to RadarBox.com.
After one hour and eight minutes in the air, covering 254 miles at 35,000 feet, the plane touched down at London Stansted at 21:43. You can see the aircraft landing at Stansted in the photo above, kindly provided by John Ballantyne.
Unsurprisingly, Ryanair used the first of the two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft delivered last week, EI-HEN, for yesterday’s flight. According to data from ch-avition.com, the aircraft took its first flight on March 19th. As a result, the plane is just 0.27 years old.
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What makes Ryanair’s MAX special?
So, what makes Ryanair’s Boeing 737 MAX so special? While the aircraft is based on the fuselage of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, it has a slight variation. An additional set of emergency exits behind the wing allow the airline to cram 197 seats into the aircraft, up from 189 in the airline’s youngest Boeing 737-800, EI-GXN.
While Boeing built just four of the 747-419 for Air New Zealand, far more MAX 8200s will be made. The Ryanair group has so far placed firm orders for 210 of the jet with the potential for more further down the line. The aircraft has even seen interest outside of the Ryanair Group, with Asian low-cost carrier VietJet also placing an order for the type.
Ryanair has many Boeing 737 MAX aircraft close to being ready for delivery. However, they won’t all be delivered at once due to the airline’s limited excess maintenance capacity in the summer. By the end of the summer, the carrier will have taken six aircraft in the Ryanair livery, alongside another six in the Malta Air livery. By summer 2022, the airline should have 50 aircraft, including some in the ‘love it or hate it’ Buzz livery.
What do you make of the 737 MAX’s arrival in London Stansted? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below.