Ryanair agrees to buy 175 Boeing jets
Airline purchases new fleet to expand network and replace older planes
Ryanair has announced a ¤12 billion deal for 175 new planes to expand its network and replace older models. Chris Radburn/PA Wire
The airline’s contract is for the existing 737-800 version of the single-aisle aircraft rather than the re-engined Max model, which is still being evaluated, the Dublin-based airline said in a statement. The planes will be delivered through 2018.
Ryanair has been contemplating a large aircraft purchase for more than three years as deliveries from an earlier Boeing deal draw to a close.
The carrier got a heavy discount on the last purchase and has been seeking similarly favourable terms.
"These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower cost and airfares even further, thereby widening Ryanair's cost and price leadership over other airlines in Europe," Ryanair chief executive officer Michael O'Leary said in a statement.
The order will allow for 5 per cent annual growth and take passenger numbers above 100 million by March 2019, Ryanair said today.
Some 75 of the new aircraft will replace older models, with the rest adding capacity, it said. Ryanair had said it was also considering Airbus SAS A320s, as well as the C919 from Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, a new entrant to the single-aisle market.
Another option was to pick up jet orders from rivals struggling to fund purchases. Ryanair delayed a jet order while pursuing a €694 million bid for Aer Lingus, which was blocked by European competition authorities last month.