Boeing has signed a deal with Ryanair to supply 75 additional 737 MAX airplanes, noted for their improved fuel efficiency and environmental performance. Increasing its order book to 210 jets, Ryanair again selected the 737 8-200, a higher-capacity version of the 737-8 that offers additional seats and is aimed at supporting the company’s recovery and future growth.
At an official signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary said, “Ryanair’s board and people are confident that our customers will love these new aircraft. Passengers will enjoy the new interiors, more generous leg room, lower fuel consumption and quieter noise performance. And, most of all, our customers will love the lower fares, which these aircraft will enable Ryanair to offer starting in 2021 and for the next decade, as Ryanair leads the recovery of Europe’s aviation and tourism industries.”
Both Ryanair (one of the main airlines operating at Corvera Airport Murcia) and Boeing acknowledged COVID-19’s impact on air traffic in the near-term, but expressed confidence in the resilience and strength of passenger demand over the long term.
“As soon as the COVID-19 virus recedes,” added O’Leary, “and it likely will in 2021 with the rollout of multiple effective vaccines, Ryanair and our partner airports across Europe will – with these environmentally efficient aircraft – rapidly restore flights and schedules, recover lost traffic and help the nations of Europe recover their tourism industries, and get young people back to work across the cities, beaches and ski resorts of the European Union.”
Ryanair was the launch customer for the high-capacity 737-8 variant, placing its first order for 100 airplanes and 100 options in late 2014, followed by firm orders of 10 airplanes in 2017 and 25 in 2018. The 737 8-200 will enable Ryanair to configure its aircraft with 197 seats, increasing revenue potential, and reduce fuel consumption by 16 per cent compared with the airline’s previous airplanes.
According to Dave Calhoun, president and CEO of The Boeing Company, “Ryanair will continue to play a leading role in our industry when Europe recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and air traffic returns to growth across the continent. We are gratified that Ryanair is once again placing its confidence in the Boeing 737 family and building their future fleet with this enlarged firm order.
“Boeing remains focused on safely returning the full 737 fleet to service and on delivering the backlog of airplanes to Ryanair and our other customers. We firmly believe in this airplane, and we will continue the work to re-earn the trust of all of our customers.”
Valued at $22 billion, the purchase agreement follows certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Boeing MAX to return to service. They are due to be delivered to Ryanair over a four-year period between spring 2021 and December 2024.
The Boeing 737 MAX-8200 aircraft is, according to Ryanair, a “game-changer” and will, when delivered, “be the most audited, most regulated in aviation history.