According to the airline’s CEO, Eddie Wilson, Ryanair could base some of its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Milan. The group is expecting to take delivery of its first aircraft within the coming weeks following certification in Europe. Ryanair is the launch customer of the specific type that it has ordered, the 737 MAX 200.
The MAX is back, and over the past half a year, airlines and authorities have been giving the type the green light to return to the skies. Most recently, India approved overflights by foreign airlines earlier this week. One airline that is yet to fly the type is Europe’s Ryanair, which was due to receive its first aircraft just weeks after the type was initially grounded.
Where will Ryanair base its new MAX aircraft?
Ryanair has bases across Europe, but where will its new MAXs be sited when delivered? Thanks to a question asked by Simple Flying at the World Aviation Festival, Ryanair’s CEO, Eddie Wilson gave us a hint of what to expect,
“Where are we going to put [the 737 MAX]? We’re probably going to have them where we will have the engineering support for those, so likely [London] Stansted or [Milan] Bergamo or somewhere like that.”
Basing the MAX aircraft at Stansted wouldn’t be a surprise. While Ryanair is an Irish airline, London Stansted is actually its largest base. Here the airline has maintenance support, flight simulators, and even a former 737 dedicated to training mechanics and crew. As such, it makes sense for the MAX to debut here, given the support available for the entry to service.
According to 2017 data from anna.aero, Stansted had 184 Ryanair routes. Dublin took second place with 131 routes. Meanwhile, Milan Bergamo came in third place with 121 routes, making it the airline’s biggest base in mainland Europe.
Alongside Dublin and Stansted, Milan is another of Ryanair’s major hubs, with maintenance facilities on site. You can read a flight review of Ryanair’s flight from Stansted to Milan Bergamo here.
When will the first 737 MAX 200 be delivered?
Before the 737 MAX grounding, Ryanair was expected to take its first MAX aircraft in April 2019. Obviously, this didn’t happen. Once the MAX was recertified, the -200 required a separate certification from the FAA and EASA. This was received recently.
Deliveries of the MAX had been expected to take place reasonably shortly after certification, and we were expecting the first to have been delivered by now. However, Wilson hinted that we might have a little bit longer to wait, stating,
“We are hopeful it’s going to be in the next number of weeks, probably in the next two weeks for delivery, and then, like any other, any aircraft that comes into us goes into service pretty much the next day. There’s always some work to be done when it arrives in Dublin, in terms of proving the aircraft, and then it goes pretty much straight into service.”
Where would you like to see Ryanair base the Boeing 737 MAX? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!