Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair facing further Boeing delays due to Max jet issues

By John Mulligan

Ryanair faces further delays to deliveries of the troubled Boeing Max jet as the manufacturer considers suspending production of the aircraft.

The possible decision by Boeing to pause production comes as recertification of the jet by US authorities is delayed.

The Max aircraft have been grounded since March this year following two fatal crashes linked to the jet's MCAS (Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System) software.

Boeing had hoped that the aircraft would have been approved for flying again before the end of 2019.

But the US Federal Aviation Administration said last week that the agency won't give the green light until some time in 2020. Other global regulators such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency will separately make their own decisions on approving the Max for commercial flights.

Ryanair has firm orders for 135 Max-200 aircraft, with options on 70 more that chief executive Michael O'Leary previously said the airline is almost certain to exercise.

Ryanair confirmed earlier this month that it was cutting its projection for how many Max aircraft it would have in service in time for next summer, from 20 to 10. Mr O'Leary estimated the delays are costing Ryanair as much as €100m a year.

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Earlier this month the airline said it plans to cancel its route from Belfast International Airport to the Spanish city of Alicante. The route is to end from March 2020.

It had already indicated it would not be running its summer flights from Belfast to Barcelona and Faro in Portugal during summer 2020. As a result, its usual summer flights from Belfast International have been cut from 14 to 8.

It had already cut its winter programme of flights from Belfast International in half last year, dropping seven routes.

Belfast Telegraph