Ryanair has placed a multi billion dollar order for up to 300 Boeing 737 Max 10 jets in a deal which would mark the end of a dispute between the two aviation giants.
The deal is estimated to be worth around $40bn (£31.7m) based on listed prices, with a discount likely due to the sheer size of the order.
Boeing said that a firm order of 150 of the largest of Boeing’s 737 max planes had been made, with the option of 150 more. Shares in the group rose 2.5 per cent shortly after the announcement.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive said that 150 of the jets will replace older planes in the fleet, with the other 150 facilitating “growth to just over 300 million guests per annum by 2034.”
The announcement will bolster the Boeing 737 brand, which has faced a drop in global deliveries due to two major accident that saw the airliner grounded worldwide in 2019.
The triple digit deal concludes 18 months of dispute between Boeing and Ryanair, after discussions collapsed last year. O’Leary subsequently launched a tirade of criticism concerning delays to orders and the company’s management, which he said were “running around like headless chickens.”
Dave Calhoun, president of Boeing, said the”the Boeing-Ryanair partnership is one of the most productive in commercial aviation history, enabling both companies to succeed and expand affordable travel to hundreds of millions of people.”
O’Leary said “Ryanair is pleased to sign this record aircraft order for up to 300 MAX 10s with our aircraft partner Boeing. These new, fuel efficient, greener technology aircraft offer 21 per cent more seats, burn 20 per cent less fuel and are 50 per cent quieter than our B737-NGs.”
“This order, coupled with our remaining Gamechanger deliveries, will create 10,000 new jobs for highly paid aviation professionals over the next decade, and these jobs will be generated across all of Europe’s main economies where Ryanair is currently the No.1 or No.2 airline.”
He added: “In addition to delivering significant revenue and market growth opportunities across Europe, we expect these new larger more efficient aircraft to drive further unit cost savings, which will be passed on to passengers in lower air fares.
Ryanair has deployed a growing fleet of 737 airplanes to bolster the group’s post-pandemic recovery and meet the recent surge in travel demand.
‘We had a bit of a bust up’: O’Leary addresses spat
Following the announcement, O’Leary addressed Ryanair and Boeing’s scrap at a boisterous press conference, alongside Calhoun.
“We had a bit of a bust up about a year ago over pricing, and we had to move somewhat to get this deal done today, but I think it’s a bit like a marriage, you know we have occasional rows and occasional splits but we come together and kiss and make-up,” he said.
“We are very proud and pleased that the Ryanair-Boeing partnership continues to lead the industry in Europe and knocks seven bells out of all our competitors.”
O’Leary couldn’t resist teasing his competitor, stating on the cost of the deal, “we got screwed by Calhoun again.”
Deliveries of the 737 maxes will start in early 2027, lasting until 2033. Ryanair estimate the deal will grow revenues by 20 per cent given the extra seats, with lower fares expected for passengers.
“These new aircraft give us lower cost and we will pass on those lower costs in the form of lower airfares, therefore driving up growth. The max 10 I think is going to be the next game-changer,” he said.