Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is looking to finalize a new Boeing 737 MAX 10 order in the coming weeks. The airline first mooted a new order for the type during its Q4 results call in February.
Ryanair is a crucial customer of the Boeing 737 product line. The airline currently has just under 450 Boeing 737s. While the majority of these are presently grounded, many are operating ghost flights to remain operationally ready. However, Ryanair is yet to receive its first 737 MAX, which is now over a year overdue.
A new order?
Today’s announcement about a potential new 737 MAX 10 order is nothing new. O’Leary first touted the new order on an earnings call in February. Since then, it has remained unmentioned. However, today the Irish airline’s CEO discussed it again, according to Reuters.
When he last mentioned it, O’Leary commented that he didn’t think the Boeing management team was ready to discuss new orders. The American aerospace manufacturing giant had recently ushered in a new CEO.
However, it seems as though the Boeing team has now had time to settle down in O’Leary’s eyes. Reports suggest that he is looking to finalize a new Boeing 737 MAX 10 order within the next couple of weeks. According to Reuters, O’Leary said that “pricing is part of the [new order] discussion, cancellations are part of the discussion.”
MAX is key
Before the current situation, the Boeing 737 MAX had been key to Ryanair’s future. The airline had intended to receive its first two MAX aircraft in April last year. However, just before this, Boeing suspended deliveries of the type. Since then, Ryanair has had to curtail its expansion plans significantly.
Put simply, Ryanair doesn’t have the number of aircraft it needs to expand rapidly. In some ways, given the current crisis, this could be a blessing in disguise. The airline today announced that it might have to cut its workforce by 3,000 to cope with the current crisis that is affecting the aviation industry.
When the Boeing 737 MAX does return, O’Leary is keen for passengers to feel comfortable onboard. In March, he told Simple Flying that he expects customer confidence could be shakey for the first six months or so. O’Leary added,
“We don’t want people to feel they’re trapped on a MAX. If you don’t want to go on it, fine, off you go, take off the bag, and you can have a full refund.”
Do you think Ryanair will be able to confirm its 737 MAX 10 order within the next two weeks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!