Posted on: 08 September 2014 by Mark Howells
Ryanair has committed to 100 firm orders and 100 options for Boeing’s new 737 MAX 200 aircraft, which has an increased capacity compared with the original 737 MAX 8 model, the development taking the capacity from 189 to 197 seats.
The 737 MAX 200 aircraft, which Boeing created to address the needs of the fast-growing low-fare airline industry, will increase Ryanair’s revenue potential whilst lower operating costs due to being up to 20% more fuel efficient.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary commented, "Ryanair is proud and honoured to become the lead operator of Boeing's 'game-changer' 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024."
“As many of Europe's flag carriers cut capacity on short haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these new Boeing 737 MAX 200s to grow at many more of Europe's primary airports,” O’Leary continued.
The new aircraft will feature the Boeing Sky Interior with LED lighting and larger overhead stowage bins like the rest of the 737 MAX family. The extra seating capacity – with new slimline seats which Ryanair says will provide more leg room (averaging more than 30 inches) – has been facilitated by the addition of a mid-exit door to the 737 MAX 8 configuration. Forecasts predict that by 2033, low-fare airlines will account for 35% of single-aisle market capacity.
The order remains subject to approval by Ryanair’s shareholders at an EGM in late November, following which the order will become Boeing’s largest ever aircraft order from a European airline.