Ryanair has ordered 75 new 737 Max aircraft from Boeing, just weeks after the plane was finally cleared to fly again.
The new order means that Ryanair will buy 210 of the planes in total, with a value of over $22bn.
Until last month the 737 Max had been grounded for nearly two years after two fatal crashes left 346 people dead.
In a statement, Ryanair said: “The Boeing 737 Max-8200 aircraft is a “Gamechanger” for Ryanair’s customers and Europe’s consumers. This aircraft, when delivered, will be the most audited, most regulated in aviation history”.
The aircraft will be delivered over a four year period, starting from the coming spring.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said that he hoped to take delivery of at least 50 of them in 2021.
Although it has been cleared to fly again by US regulators, the 737 Max is still awaiting approval by the EU’s aviation authority.
O’Leary added: “We are working closely with Boeing and our senior pilot professionals to assist our regulator EASA to certify these aircraft in Europe, and to complete the training of our pilots and crews across our 3 new Boeing MAX simulators in Dublin and Stansted”.
As a result of the pandemic, Ryanair had agreed to defer delivery of its pre-existing order of the jet with Boeing.
It added that the US planemaker would compensate it for any losses made due to the delay, but added that some of this had been taken care of by setting a lower price for the order.
In total, it is estimated that the grounding of the 737 Max has cost Boeing $20bn, and losses have been compounded by the chaos caused by this year’s pandemic.
Even with the 737 Max now approved again in some markets, some analysts have warned that the coronavirus pandemic means that Boeing should not expect demand for the plane to return quickly.
Boeing president and chief executive Dave Calhoun said: “Ryanair will continue to play a leading role in our industry when Europe recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and air traffic returns to growth across the continent.
“We are gratified that Ryanair is once again placing its confidence in the Boeing 737 family and building their future fleet with this enlarged firm order.