Business Irish

Saturday 24 March 2018

Max jets next to arrive as Ryanair fleet soars to 380

Ryanair has taken charge of 180 new 737-800s, lifting its all-time tally to 450 Boeing planes
Ryanair has taken charge of 180 new 737-800s, lifting its all-time tally to 450 Boeing planes
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has taken delivery of its 450th jet from Boeing, bringing the airline's fleet to 380 aircraft.

The new jet is part of a batch of about 180 Boeing 737-800s ordered by the carrier in 2013.

In 2014, it also placed a firm order for 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, and took an option on an additional 100. Ryanair will begin to take delivery of those 197-seat aircraft in 2019.

Ryanair ceo Michael O'Leary said in February that the airline was almost certain to exercise the option on the additional 100 Max jets.

The jets have been described as a "game changer" by Mr O'Leary.

The Max aircraft's seating layout compares to the 189 passengers carried by the existing 737 aircraft used by the carrier.

Crucially, that can be achieved without having to add cabin crew. The aircraft will also use substantially less fuel.

Ryanair chief operations officer Mick Hickey said that the airline will grow its fleet to 585 jets by 2024, when it expects to be carrying 200 million passengers a year.

Boeing's vice-president of European sales for commercial airplanes, Monty Oliver, said that the delivery of the latest aircraft to Ryanair was a "significant milestone" in both companies' shared history.

Ryanair has been expanding geographically as its fleet size increases.

It has launched services to Israel and recently widened its route network from the country.

Last week, it announced that it would establish operations in Ukraine, with flights from the capital, Kiev, and also from Lviv.

Ryanair has also been hammering out final details of what would be landmark interlining agreements with airlines including Aer Lingus and Norwegian, where it would feed passengers to the other carriers' long-haul networks.

Aer Lingus ceo Stephen Kavanagh previously said he expects some form of agreement with Ryanair to be implemented this year.

Mr O'Leary has downplayed the importance of the likely agreements to Ryanair.

Irish Independent

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