Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair in £3bn order for 25 more Boeing 737s

By Conor Humphreys

Ryanair yesterday agreed to buy 25 more Boeing 737 MAX planes worth $3bn (£2.14bn) at list prices, lifting its total order for the planes to 135.

The budget carrier was already the largest operator of Boeing planes in Europe.

In 2014 the airline signed a record order for 100 737 MAX planes with an option to buy up to 100 more.

Ryanair, which currently operates around 430 Boeing 737 planes, said the MAX order will allow it to reach its target of carrying 200 million passengers per year by 2024.

However, the airline has struggled to roster enough pilots as its capacity has increased and was forced to cancel thousands of flights in the final months of last year.

CEO Michael O'Leary said in March that he expected to exercise "pretty much all" of its options.

The latest order leaves it with 75 more purchase options.

It purchased 10 additional MAX planes in June last year, which were on top of the 2014 order.

Ryanair has dubbed the MAX a "game changer" for its business, due to a fuel consumption improvement that it said could be up to 16%, and a greater number of seats.

The configuration the airline has ordered has 197 seats compared to 189 in its current fleet of 737s.

Ryanair rivals easyJet and Wizz have ordered Airbus A321 planes, which seat up to 239 passengers.

Ryanair has held talks with Boeing about its new larger version of the 737 airliner, the MAX 10, which can carry up to 230 passengers, but has made clear it would only be interested if the price is lowered.

The first of Ryanair's 737 MAX planes are due for delivery in the first half of 2019 and will use CFM Leap-1B engines.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.