Business Irish

Friday 17 January 2020

Preparing for take-off: Ryanair aims to secure Boeing Max planes by April after global grounding

Delays: A 737 Max is developed at the Boeing manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington, US. Photo: Bloomberg
Delays: A 737 Max is developed at the Boeing manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington, US. Photo: Bloomberg

Padraic Halpin

Ryanair could receive its first deliveries of up to 10 grounded 737 Max aircraft from Boeing by April, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said yesterday, but he cautioned the timing was up to regulators.

That is earlier than indicated by CEO Michael O'Leary this month, when he said Ryanair might not receive its first 737 Max until October. The Max, Boeing's fastest-selling aircraft, has not flown since last March following two crashes. Ryanair has up to 210 of the planes on order, but none in service. "We now think we will get it in March or April this year, looks more like April than March, and we think we will get up to 10 Max aircraft," Mr Jacobs said.

"It could still mean less than 10 and the date could still change. It has been a moving feast and the dates have slipped up to now for the past months," he said, adding all European airlines' orders were in the hands of regulators.

Ryanair last month cut its passenger traffic forecast for the year to March 31, 2021 to 156 million from 157 million after scrapping some planned summer operations due to the Max delays. That forecast was based on Ryanair receiving 10 Max aircraft in time for the summer season. It previously cut expectations to 20 from the 60 originally scheduled.

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