DALLAS — Ryanair (FR) has threatened to cancel 57 Boeing 737 MAX orders if delivery dates slip to July or August 2024 from April. According to Investing.com, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Leary, has publicly criticized Boeing for ongoing delivery delays of its 737 MAX aircraft.
O’Leary’s comments come on the heels of Boeing’s announcement of a reduced delivery forecast for this year, with the number of narrow-body planes expected to be delivered dropping from 400–450 to just 375–400.
Boeing supply delays are not new to FR. Back in 2009, the Irish ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) canceled an order for 200 planes. In response to the potential new Boeing delays, FR is modifying its winter schedule, which it predicts will “disrupt” the movement of up to 1.4 million passengers.
The famously outspoken CEO stressed the importance of receiving all ordered aircraft to maintain low fares and continue operations while many of its competitors’ planes are grounded due to Pratt & Whitney’s engine faults.
Boeing Has Yet to Respond
Boeing has yet to comment on whether delivery disruptions may extend beyond mid-2024 as speculated by O’Leary. Boeing reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Irish airline.
According to real-time data from InvestingPro, Boeing’s market capitalization stands at US$108.71 billion. Despite facing challenges, the company has seen a revenue growth of 23.34% over the last 12 months as of Q3 2023. This growth, however, has not translated into significant profits; the company’s gross profit margin was relatively low at 11.44% during the same period. Analysts do not expect Boeing to be profitable this year.
Ryanair’s current fleet comprises primarily Boeing 737s in various versions. The Dublin-based airline also uses 29 Airbus A320s for its Lauda subsidiary (formerly LaudaMotion [OE]).
Featured image: Ryanair became the launch customer of the 737 MAX 200 when it placed an order for 200 in December 2014. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways