Up in the air: O'Leary lashes out at Boeing
Ryanair may not have any of the Boeing 737 Max models it has ordered flying by next summer because of delays bringing the planes back into service, CEO Michael O'Leary has warned.
The airline will be forced to cut expansion plans further if planes it has ordered still cannot fly. Earlier this month, Ryanair cut the number of 737 Max jets it plans to fly next summer from 58 to 30, halving its growth rate for the year from 10 million to five million passengers.
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"I am concerned that the Max return to service keeps slipping," Mr O'Leary told a conference call with analysts.
The current estimate to take 30 aircraft for summer 2020 could fall to 20, "which would significantly truncate our growth rate", Mr O'Leary said.
"It could move to 10 and it could move to zero if Boeing don't get their s**t together pretty quickly with the regulator," he added.
He said Boeing has pushed back software amendments required for the return to service to October, rather than September. "It's very difficult to deal with the Boeing delays because they keep getting delayed further and further," Mr O'Leary said. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said last week he was confident the Max would be back in service as early as October.