Michael O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, confirmed the order on Monday, describing the fuel-saving 737 MAX as a “game changer”.
O’Leary said: “As many of Europe’s flag carriers cut capacity on short-haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these aircraft to grow at many more of Europe’s primary airports.”
Ryanair was due to take delivery of the first of 180 Boeing 737-800s from an earlier order today (Tuesday).
The 100 737 Max aircraft Ryanair has on firm order will take its fleet to 520 by 2024. The carrier has options on another 100, giving the total order a value of $22 billion at the current list price.
Ryanair said the new aircraft would “significantly lower operating costs”. Boeing reports the 737 MAX to be 20% more fuel efficient than its current 737.
The aircraft will be powered by new CFM LEAP-1B engines which should also be significantly less noisy.
Ryanair will configure the aircraft with 197 seats, eight more than its current 737 fleet – made possible by slimmer seats.
O’Leary said: “We will grow over the next decade to 150 million customers annually while at the same time cutting our fuel consumption by 18%.”
“These ‘game changer’ aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower costs and air fares while improving our customer experience, as we roll out new offers, particularly for our Business Plus and Family Extra customers.”
Boeing commercial airplanes president and chief executive Ray Conner said: “The 737 MAX 200 is the perfect fit for Ryanair, providing improved efficiencies, 20% lower emissions, increased revenues and a high level of passenger comfort.
“The new variant will play a significant role in enabling the airline to continue to expand its operations.”
Ryanair’s current order of 180 737s will take its fleet from just over 300 to 420 aircraft, allowing for lease returns, and annual traffic from 82 million passengers last year to more than 112 million by 2019.
Sourced from Travel Weekly