Ryanair is still hoping to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by the end of the year. The Irish low-cost airline gave an update to its 737 MAX expectations alongside its first-quarter results earlier this morning.
While the Boeing 737 MAX’s recertification date is still uncertain, it seems as though progress is being made to return the aircraft to the skies once more. Earlier in July, Boeing wrapped up 10 hours of testing of the Boeing 737 MAX. US airlines are currently targeting a late 2020 return to service for the newest iteration of the 50-plus-year-old aircraft design.
First Ryanair delivery this year?
Ryanair had initially intended to take delivery of its first couple of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in April of last year. However, a month before the expected delivery, the type got grounded across the world. While several airlines have canceled orders for the Boeing 737 MAX, Ryanair has stood by its commitment. The LCC has even mooted placing a further request for the type.
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Ryanair today released its first-quarter results for April to June. The headline of the release was the airline’s €185 million loss. However, the airline also discussed where it currently sits concerning deliveries of the Boeing 737 MAX.
Commenting, the airline said that Boeing is currently indicating a late Q3 return to service for the 737 MAX in the United States. As such, Ryanair now expects to receive its first MAX-200 aircraft by the end of the year. The airline then hopes to operate up to 40 of the aircraft during the summer next year.
Ryanair is unable just to take up canceled aircraft built for other customers, as it has ordered a bespoke plane from Boeing. The MAX-200 has additional emergency exits fitted to allow for a higher number of passengers. This requires the type to undergo additional certification.
The airline said,
“We remain committed supporters of these “gamechanger” aircraft which have 4% more seats, 16% lower fuel burn and 40% lower noise emissions.”
As Ryanair looks to recover from the impacts of the current aviation crisis, it seems as though the MAX’s return to service could be perfectly timed. The delayed deliveries have already affected the airline’s growth plans. After all, with no spare aircraft, it couldn’t launch all of the new routes it had hoped.
The airline is planning for a reasonably aggressive return to service, with 70% of flights operational by September. Had the airline already taken delivery of all of these aircraft, they would’ve remained on the ground for around four months anyway. This is as Ryanair only operated a skeleton service at the height of the crisis.
Would you fly on one of Ryanair’s MAX-200 aircraft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!