Ryanair hit by further delay to Boeing 737 Max deliveries

Daniel Fowler
November 6, 2019

Low-priced operator Ryanair, one of Boeing's biggest clients, also said on Monday it expected further delays to MAX deliveries to impact its growth in 2020.

Ryanair reiterated that this will more than halve its passenger growth rate next summer to 3% from 7%, with the airline carrying 157 million people over the year as a whole rather than 162 million as previously planned.

Still, Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said there was "no risk at all" that the airline would fail to meet its target of flying 200 million passengers per year by March 2024. The global fleet has been grounded for several months following two fatal crashes at Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines.

CEO Michael O'Leary on Monday said the company had lowered its estimate to 20 planes by next summer with "a real risk of none".

Boeing announced last month it expects to return the embattled plane to service on January 16, but previous dates to get back in the air have come and gone as the company continues to seek Federal Aviation Administration re-certification, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Globe & Mail reported today the Boeing 737 MAX is likely to return to service in Europe during the first quarter of 2020, the head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said on Monday.

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US carriers do not expect to fly the MAX until 2020, schedules show, as they wait for regulators to end the worldwide grounding that followed two deadly crashes.

The Dublin-based carrier, famed for promoting knock-down ticket prices, said in a results statement that profit after taxation was unchanged at 1.15 billion euros ($1.28 billion) in the six months to September from a year earlier.

Ryanair also said that Lauda's losses will be higher than originally expected, and it is narrowing its full year guidance to a new range of €800 million to €900 million PAT.

That would represent a continued decline from last financial year's 1.02 billion euro profit, which was down from 1.45 billion euros the year before that.

The delayed delivery has also increased the airline's maintenance costs as older aircraft in the fleet have to remain in service due to the lack of timely replacement with new planes, said the company.

Average air fares fell 5 per cent "due to the weaker consumer demand in the United Kingdom and overcapacity in Germany and Austria", it added.

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