Tuesday 22 October 2019

Ryanair secures compensation deal from Boeing

Grounded: Boeing has continued production of its troubled 737 Max jets as it aims to have the model recertified for flying within weeks
Grounded: Boeing has continued production of its troubled 737 Max jets as it aims to have the model recertified for flying within weeks
Up in the air: Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary expects to have 50 Max jets in service for summer 2020
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

RYANAIR has struck an agreement with Boeing worth hundreds of millions of euro to the Irish company in compensation for the worldwide grounding of the US aircraft-maker's 737 Max jet, the Irish Independent has learned.

The agreement involves money already owed by Ryanair to Boeing, it's understood.

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Ryanair is one of Boeing's biggest customers and the main operator in the world of its 737-800 aircraft.

The airline has 135 firm orders placed for Boeing Max jets, and an option on 75 more. The core Ryanair fleet consists of 455 Boeing 737 aircraft.

The agreement reached is likely to put pressure on the aircraft-maker to seal deals with other airlines such as Norwegian, which have also said they want compensation following the Max groundings.

Norwegian was already operating a number of the jets, including on routes between Ireland and the United States.

The chairman of Turkish Airlines, Ilker Ayci, is meeting today with Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg to discuss terms of Max compensation.

Turkish Airlines has 12 of the jets grounded, which the chairman said resulted in losses, and capacity and frequency issues.

Neither Ryanair nor Boeing would confirm or comment when asked about the agreement struck between them.

"Boeing doesn't discuss conversations we have with our customers," said a spokesman.

Ryanair would only refer back to comments made by chief executive Michael O'Leary earlier this week when he announced the carrier's full-year results.

Mr O'Leary said on Monday that the airline was in talks with Boeing about possible compensation after the 737 Max groundings, which followed two deadly crashes on carriers abroad involving the new jet type.

"I'm sure we will work something out with Boeing, whether that's compensation or something on the price of the aircraft - not sure yet," he said.

Ryanair was due to add the first Max jet to its fleet last month, but deliveries have now been pushed back to October or November.

But Mr O'Leary expects to have some flying over the winter, assuming the Max recertification by safety authorities in the US and Europe goes according to plan.

He also said Ryanair expects to have 50 of the jets in service in time for summer 2020.

Between last September and December, Ryanair took delivery of its final 737-800 jets, the backbone of its fleet, an aircraft type it first added in 1999.

Irish Independent

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