Ryanair reports profit, says Max boost a year away

Andrew Cummings
February 4, 2020

Ryanair is one of Boeing's larger customers, and it looks as though the Irish low-priced carrier wants to leverage this position for future aircraft orders.

"Industry capacity growth remains subdued, helped by the absence of Thomas Cook capacity and the ongoing Boeing MAX grounding", they said, adding the three months to March are the "seasonally weakest period". "As a direct result of these delivery delays, we plan to extend our 200m per annum passenger target by at least one or two years to FY25 or FY26". And it revealed something that would make the planemaker celebrate if it did not go through a delicate moment: a new order of 737 Max jets, but of the -10 variant, the largest of the model and which had the roll out of the first plane recently.

Costs, excluding fuel, rose by 1% due to higher staff and maintenance costs. O'Leary suggested that discussions with Boeing will not be completed until the Max returns to service and Boeing resumes production. The airline planned to reach the mark of 200 million passengers transported in 2024 and the 737 Max was crucial for this.

The 737 MAX 10 is the largest variant offered by Boeing.

Europe's biggest low-priced airline posted net income of 88 million euros (S$133 million) for the third quarter through December, compared with a year-ago loss, spurred by lucrative last-minute bookings over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. It was due to take delivery of the first 55 in time for this summer but now expects them by the summer of 2021.

But perhaps that is not enough - O'Leary may say so. It now doesn't expect to receive any of the aircraft until September or October this year.

Boeing installed a new CEO last month, and O'Leary said Boeing's new management team "is not yet in a position to be able to talk to us about a new order".

Other reports by iNewsToday