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Over in a flash: short Ryanair EGM seals $22bn jet buy

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Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair with board member, Charlie McCreevy, at the Ryanair EGM

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair with board member, Charlie McCreevy, at the Ryanair EGM

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair with board member, Charlie McCreevy, at the Ryanair EGM

Ryanair is used to quick turnarounds, but its 35-second long EGM yesterday to approve an order for up to 200 Boeing 737 Max aircraft with an almost $22bn (€17.6bn) list price, must be some sort of a record.

Held in the airline's headquarters in Swords, north Dublin, the meeting was called to seek shareholder approval for what is the biggest order ever placed by an Irish company.

Just three external shareholders turned up, outnumbered by the board.

Non-executive director James Osborne called the meeting to order, and said there was no need to read the resolution regarding the order.

The votes cast by shareholders were already on a TV screen: 99.93pc of votes cast were in favour.

Mr Osborne asked Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary if he wanted to say a few words.

He declined, and the meeting was closed. The room was quickly vacated as cabin crew were about to undergo training.

In a statement, Mr O'Leary said Ryanair is "proud and honoured" to become the lead operator of the 737 Max aircraft.

The order will expand the airline's fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 10,000 jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers, according to the airline.

It will also enable Ryanair to nearly double its annual passenger traffic to 150m.

Ryanair is paying a basic price of $102.5m per aircraft it has ordered, and paying another $1.57m for fit-out of each jet. However, the airline received what it said was a "significant" discount on the list price.

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