Boeing jet trouble leads to cuts at Europe’s busiest airline

Clay Curtis
July 16, 2019

He explained the logistical reason for the aircraft delay, and added: "Ryanair remains committed to the B737 MAX aircraft, and now expects that it will return to flying service before the end of 2019, however the exact date of this return remains uncertain".

'This is less than the 58 MAX aircraft Boeing originally scheduled to deliver for our summer 2020 schedule'.

'This will cut Ryanair's summer 2020 growth rate from 7% to 3%, and means full year traffic growth for the year to March 2021 will be cut from 162m guests to approximately 157m, ' O'Leary said.

Ryanair remains confident in the Boeing 737 MAX and believes the plane will be "warmly welcomed" by customers, Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday after he was forced to half the airline's 2020 growth plans due to the plane's grounding.

The Irish company said on Monday the move would also impact jobs as it would close or make cuts at the some of its bases for the winter 2019 and summer 2020 schedules.

"Ryanair expects that the MAX200 will be approved for flight services within two months of the MAX return to service".

Ryanair now has a number of MAX200 aircraft, a variant of the MAX range, on order for next year, however, O'Leary said that assuming the MAX returned to service by December it expected to receive up to 30 MAX200's by May 2020, less than the 58 originally predicted.

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Ryanair has orders for 135 737 MAX 200 versions of the plane, which have 197 seats, plus options for an additional 75 options.

Ryanair has said it will continue to work with Boeing and EASA to recover these delivery delays during the winter of 2020, in an attempt to restore their growth to normal levels in summer 2021.

"This number could rise, or fall further, depending on when the 737 MAX actually return to flight services", the airline said. The airline said it would also consult unions.

Ryanair shares in Dublin rose as much as 1.5% in early trading to €10.30 each, perhaps on relief that the airline is taking action and that the damage appears to be limited.

The MAX brand has been damaged by the global grounding of the fleet in the wake of two fatal crashes in less than five months as well as publicity surrounding a series of investigations into the aircraft's certification.

Photos shared on Twitter show a plane in Ryanair colours outside Boeing's manufacturing base, with the name 737 Max replaced by 737-8200. The stock has fallen about 4% so far this year, hit by over-capacity and intense competition in Europe's short-haul aviation market.

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