Ryanair announced on Tuesday that it had reached a deal with aircraft manufacturer Boeing to order up to 300 high-capacity 737MAX-10 jets in a deal worth $40 billion at list value.
The budget European airline would have received a deep discount that makes the headline price almost meaningless, although the scale and size of the order will still need to be approved by Ryanair’s shareholders during the carrier’s annual general meeting in September.
Ryanair says it has placed a firm order for 150 of Boeing’s 737MAX-10s and has secured options for 150 more. The order is likely to be rubberstamped in September, although deliveries won’t start taking place until 2027 at the earliest.
The 737MAX-10 is the largest of Boeing’s MAX family of single-aisle short-haul aircraft, and in Rynair’s high-density one-class configuration, the plane will be able to hold as many as 228 passengers.
The aircraft can carry 21% more passengers than Ryanair’s older 737NG aircraft and 31 more passengers than a special ‘gamechanger’ 737MAX model known as the 8-200 – a high-capacity version of the 737MAX-8.
“In addition to delivering significant revenue and traffic growth across Europe, we expect these new, larger, more efficient, greener, aircraft to drive further unit cost savings, which will be passed on to passengers in lower air fares,” Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Tuesday.
“The extra seats, lower fuel burn and more competitive aircraft pricing supported by our strong balance sheet, will widen the cost gap between Ryanair and competitor EU airlines for many years to come,” O’Leary continued.
The often outspoken airline exec walked away from a dead with Boeing in 2021 after the aerospace giant refused to lower the MAX-10s cost to the level that Ryanair was willing to pay.
O’Leary ended talks after more than ten months of negotiations and later told reporters that the airline would be willing to wait years until Boeing was forced to lower its prices.
Ryanair currently operates nearly 100 Boeing 737MAX 8-200s, although the final delivery of the order isn’t expected until 2025. There will then be a two-year gap before the first MAX-10 joins the Ryanair fleet.
Half of MAX-10 order will replace older planes, while the remaining 150 aircraft will be used to “facilitate controlled, sustainable growth”, a spokesperson for the airline said. In a statement, Ryanair said it expected passenger numbers to climb to 300 million per year by 2034.
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.