Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said in an interview on Wednesday that he would be willing to wait for up to 10 years to get the right price for a big new order of Boeing 737 MAX10 planes. On Monday, the airline confirmed it had abandoned negotiations with Boeing because of the aircraft manufacturer’s overly “optimistic” pricing.
“We’re not wasting any time on those MAX 10 discussions nor will we for a period of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 years until we get to the next crisis,” O’Leary told Reuters. “We at Ryanair have always had the discipline to wait out the cycle.”
It’s incredibly unusual for airlines to discuss sensitive and confidential negotiations so openly but O’Leary has not shied away from going into great detail about his reasons for abandoning talks with Boeing.
“Boeing are looking for a price increase while many of their customers are moving to Airbus,” O’Leary said during the interview. “We take the view we are still in a period of great crisis. Boeing take the view that now the world is fine and it’s all recovered and its latest pricing offer reflects that,” he said.
This year, Boeing has managed to outpace Airbus in aircraft orders giving the manufacturer confidence in its current pricing.
O’Leary believes Ryanair has enough new planes on the order books to meet the demand for at least the next decade and is willing to wait until the next crisis comes along to secure a bargain-basement deal with Boeing.
Ryanair operates an all-Boeing fleet and O’Leary doesn’t see any advantage of trying to play Boeing against Airbus in an attempt to win a lower price. And while O’Leary didn’t dismiss the prospect of defecting to Airbus, he noted that the European manufacturer wasn’t pricing its single-aisle aircraft at a price point he would be happy to pay either.
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.