Ryanair Threatens 737 MAX Cancellation

Daniel Fowkes
31 Oct 2023
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
A Ryanair Boeing 737-8 MAX 200 landing into Billund Airport

Ryanair is threatening to cancel orders for the Boeing 737 MAX amid escalating tensions.

These tensions surround the ongoing delays Ryanair is experiencing in acquiring new units from the American plane maker.

Ultimately, for Ryanair, this is not the first time the carrier has made such threats, and it likely won’t be the last time.

Delays Continue For 737 MAX

The 737 MAX has not been the only aircraft impacted by ongoing supply chain struggles and quality assurance difficulties. However, for Ryanair, it’s of primary focus and importance.

These ongoing issues have impacted deliveries for the program. In more cases than none, they’ve resulted in the company expecting delivery of the jets, seeing significant delays.

Ryanair’s often outspoken CEO, Michael O’Leary, has once more criticised the American plane maker over ongoing delays with the 737 MAX program.

These ongoing issues are impacting the delivery timeframe for Ryanair’s 737 MAXs. Ryanair relies heavily on the series to provide future fleet growth while improving company-wide efficiency and finances.

As a result of the delays, the Ryanair Chief has said that if deliveries slip further for the anticipated 57 aircraft, they may very well reject the planes.

The aircraft are due by April 2024; however, if they slip towards July or August specifically, that’s when questions would be asked.

A Lengthy History Of Problems

Despite being an all-Boeing operator, excluding operations at Lauda, Ryanair is hardly immune to persistent issues.

Delays in delivery and frustrations date back to the late 2000s when Ryanair cancelled an order for the type.

While Ryanair already has a substantial amount of aircraft, it needs these planes on time. Arriving on time or delayed can be the difference between meeting increasing demand and competing with other major carriers.

The delays are impacting Ryanair’s upcoming winter schedule. The carrier says that more than 1.4 million passengers are slated to be affected, and if uncertainties persist, this could extend further into 2024.

While Boeing has affirmed its stance on numerous occasions that it’ll work to support Ryanair. Ultimately, without having the aircraft available, there’s not much Boeing can do to appease the significant European airline.

The Ryanair Fleet

Ryanair operates a fleet of nearly 300 Boeing aircraft with over 200 737-800s. The carrier already flies 76 737-8s, part of the MAX series.

However, this number is slated to continue growing into the future. Of course, future deliveries still have a lot of uncertainty surrounding them.

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  1. Ryanair is a European airline so should be flying A320 series. I won’t fly Ryanair because of it Boeing fleet. I fly EasyJet who have much nicer aircraft.

  2. About time Ryanair started being a bit more patriotic to the EU (and UK) and purchased Airbus planes. They are also not as cramped as 737s.

    1. I flew to Spain this year on a Vueling A320. My knees were jammed hard against the back of the seat ahead of me. I flew back on a Ryanair 737-800. On that, I had a good three inches more legroom. It’s not the plane, though. It’s how many seats the carrier wants to squeeze in.

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