Ryanair to acquire 75 new 737 MAXs in all but name, and at a “modest discount”


Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, is to increase its fleet of 737 MAX jets after placing a new order for 75 of the beleaguered jets at what has been described as a “modest discount” from the list price of US$22 billion.

At a news conference in Washington to announce the deal, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary described the 737 Max as “a fabulous aircraft”. Boeing’s chief executive, David Calhoun, said it was “the beginning of the fulfilment of a more robust order book”.

However, when announcing the deal, O’Leary’ would only refer to the 737 MAX as the “737 8200”. Refusing to acknowledge this was a rebranding exercise. He believed that passengers would be happy to fly on the plane, whatever it was called. Dave Calhoun underscored O’Leary’s comments by stating that there was no rebranding going on. He also felt that there was no need to slash the price of the 737 MAX to bring back customers. “We believe strongly in the recovery and therefore we will stay patient,” he said. “We don’t feel a need to discount our way into the marketplace.”

Though the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has recently certified the jet’s return to service, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is yet to follow suit and is in charge of re-certification of the 737 MAX for EU member states as well as the U.K.

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