Wednesday 26 June 2019

Ryanair misses first delivery of Max jets

Boeing's 737 Max safety crisis is beginning to bite for Ryanair after the airline missed its deadline to introduce its first five of the grounded jets into London Stansted.
Boeing's 737 Max safety crisis is beginning to bite for Ryanair after the airline missed its deadline to introduce its first five of the grounded jets into London Stansted.

Fearghal O'Connor

Boeing's 737 Max safety crisis is beginning to bite for Ryanair after the airline missed its deadline to introduce its first five of the grounded jets into London Stansted.

Ryanair had planned for the first batch of its overall order of 135 Max aircraft to be delivered during April and to be in operation at the airport this month.

Instead it has axed most of its domestic flights between the London airport and Belfast and Edinburgh.

The airline did not respond to detailed queries and has yet to outline a Plan B - potentially to keep older aircraft for longer or to lease in aircraft - should the Max remain grounded long-term due to safety concerns.

The Max - previously referred to by Ryanair as "the game-changer" - was a key part of the airline's plan to drive down its unit cost efficiencies and to hit 200 million passengers a year by 2024. The jet has 4pc more seats, is 16pc more fuel efficient and has 40pc lower noise emissions than its current fleet of 737-800 aircraft.

Aviation sources said that Ryanair was better equipped than most carriers to deal with the setback. But they added that it was likely to disrupt the airline's plans and that schedule changes at Stansted could be an early indication of the problems it will face if the Max deliveries are delayed long-term.

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