Bluff or real threat? Ryanair says it may cancel 737 MAX 10 orders because of Boeing delays

Low-cost airline CEO Michael O’Leary urged planemaker to “start delivering aircraft on time”

Ryanair is among the biggest Boeing 737 MAX customers in the world, with 360 gross orders for the single-aisle jet. The importance of the low-cost airline for the US planemaker is therefore enormous, but it also means having to listen to tough demands.

This is what Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, did in an interview with The Telegraph, who urged the company to fulfill its promises and “tidy up the house” as soon as possible.

The chief executive was incisive regarding the repeated delays in the delivery schedule. “Boeing needs to get its act together and start delivering these aircraft on time,” said O’Leary.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair (WTCC)

Ryanair’s CEO is upset because Boeing will not be able to deliver 57 737 MAX 8-200s by April 2024, as planned.

The aircraft are only expected to arrive by the end of June, putting Ryanair’s flight network in serious trouble. Michael O’Leary says that if Boeing delays more than that it may not accept the planes.

More serious than this is that the CEO of Ryanair is even considering canceling the huge order for 150 737 MAX 10 jets scheduled to begin delivery in 2027.

More than 500 Boeing 737 in the fleet

It’s worth remembering that O’Leary was one of the few defenders of Boeing during the most critical period of the 737 MAX grounding, when the plane maker’s credibility went into the ground as well.

At the time, not only did he not abandon his plan to operate Boeing jets, he confirmed orders for the MAX, including the then-unreleased 8-200 high-density variant.

Ryanair has a firm order for 150 737 MAX 10 from 2027 (Boeing)

Despite the pressure, there aren’t many options for the Irish budget carrier. With 537 737 jets, 126 of them in the MAX series, Ryanair would face terrible difficulties if it decided to switch to Airbus.

Although there are 28 A320s flying with Lauda Europe, the model is out of plans and should be withdrawn from service soon.

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Furthermore, ordering jets from the A320neo family would mean joining a long queue, given the number of orders currently pending.

O’Leary has a fair right to complain to Boeing, but there’s not much else he can do.