MIAMI – If Ryanair (FR) passengers are not comfortable flying on a Boeing 737 MAX, they can change planes. That’s the word from Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary as the airline receives its first 737 MAX direct from Boeing Field today.
“So confident are we in this aircraft, so confident our passengers will want to travel on this aircraft, we’ll allow them to offload if they don’t want to travel on a MAX,” he told The Independent.
“They won’t get a refund, but they can travel on the next available flight on that route. If you’re reluctant to fly on the Max you can offload and fly on the next ‘NG’ aircraft – which thankfully in Stansted or in Dublin won’t be very long behind you.”
Flight Radar 24 showed that FR’s first Boeing 737 MAX left Boeing Field in Seattle at 1:15 a.m. PDT Wednesday and should arrive in Dublin around 1:40 p.m. local time.
The Boeing 737 MAX has the range to make the 4,535-mile (7,314 km) flight nonstop, particularly as it is carrying few to no passengers and a light cargo load.
Thepointsguy.uk says that FR has ordered 210 737 MAX planes. The aircraft will likely be based at London Stansted (STN) and Dublin (DUB). The planes, which are configured with 197 seats, will operate on Ryanair’s network throughout Europe.
The Boeing 737 MAX has “carried more than a million passengers in the past five months. There have been no recorded incidents. The software has been fixed. And I think people are really going to love flying on this airplane,” O’Leary said.
The delay in receiving the Boeing 737 MAX has hindered FR’s ability to resume flying and expand its network.
“Our rate of growth is now going to accelerate over the next four years,” O’Leary said. “We have many more airport partners across the UK and the rest of Europe who are desperate for us to resume growth and return to our pre-Covid volumes of 150 million-plus passengers.
“We expect to see the Ryanair group of airlines carry more than 200 million passengers in the next four or five years.”
Featured image: Test flight for a brand new Ryanair 737MAX 8-200. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways