Ryanair has walked away from talks with aircraft manufacturer Boeing over a new big jet order for higher-capacity 737MAX10 aircraft. The negotiations were for a follow-up order to the 210 Boeing 737MAX8 aircraft that Ryanair has already ordered and has started taking delivery of.
In a statement, Ryanair said talks had been ongoing for 10 months but the Dublin-based airline decided to abandon any further negotiations when it realised the price gap between what it was willing to pay and what Boeing would offer was too great.
“Both sides have agreed to waste no more time on these negotiations,” a spokesperson for Ryanair said on Monday. Boeing wasn’t in a position to immediately comment owing to the Labor Day holiday.
“We are disappointed we couldn’t reach agreement with Boeing on a MAX10 order. However, Boeing have a more optimistic outlook on aircraft pricing than we do, and we have a disciplined track record of not paying high prices for aircraft,” chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Monday.
Ryanair’s first MAX delivery was delayed due to the worldwide grounding of the aircraft type but the airline is now flying what it refers to as its “gamechanger” aircraft. Known as the 737 8-200 – it is a higher capacity version of the 737-8 with more seats and improved fuel efficiency compared to older models.
In Ryanair’s configuration, the 8-200 is capable of carrying 197 passengers – which is 4 per cent more than Ryanair’s 737-8’s. The plane is recognisable because it has a third set of doors aft of the wing, as well as the normal overwing exits.
The MAX10 is an even higher capacity aircraft but Boeing has struggled to sell these planes as airlines look to the increasingly popular Airbus A321 aircraft.
Last week, British leisure carrier Jet2 became the latest airline to abandon its policy of operating an all Boeing fleet by placing an order with Airbus for 36 A321neos. The single-aisle, highly fuel-efficient aircraft are capable of carrying 232 passengers in Jet2’s all-economy layout.
Ryanair is set to continue taking delivery of its 8-200’s through 2025 at which point the airline’s fleet will have grown to 600 planes capable of carrying more than 200 million passengers per year.
“We have a more than sufficient order pipeline to allow us to grow strongly over the next 5 years with a Boeing 737 fleet, which will rise to over 600 aircraft and will enable Ryanair to capitalise on the extraordinary growth opportunities that are emerging all over Europe as the Continent recovers from the Covid pandemic,” O’Leary commented.
“We do not share Boeing’s optimistic pricing outlook, although this may explain why in recent weeks other large Boeing customers such as Delta and Jet2, have been placing new orders with Airbus, rather than Boeing”.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.