Ryanair announced that it has ended talks with Boeing for a potential order for around 250 737 MAX 10 aircraft, the largest in the family. The reason is the high asking price by the US airframer.
The disclosure of the failure in the negotiations surprised the market and was seen as pressure from the Dublin-based carrier on Boeing, which is going through a long image crisis.
Under the shadow of rival A321neo’s success, Boeing would have the opportunity to demonstrate strength by announcing an order priced at $33 billion in list price.
Ryanair is not just any Boeing customer. The company led by Michael O’Leary has 210 firm orders for the 737 MAX 8-200, a high-density narrowbody variant.
The CEO even defended the aircraft during the worst moments in recent years when Boeing failed to convince civil aviation authorities to release the 737 MAX for revenue service.
Ryanair not only remained a firm customer, it increased its order late last year. The first 737 MAX 8-200, however, was not delivered until June.
“We are disappointed we couldn’t reach agreement with Boeing on a MAX10 order. However, Boeing has a more optimistic outlook on aircraft pricing than we do, and we have a disciplined track record of not paying high prices for aircraft,” O’Leary said on Monday.
There is no doubt that talks should be resumed soon, after all, neither Ryanair should prefer to opt for an aircraft from another manufacturer (and thus give up fleet standardization) nor Boeing to lose such a massive order. Until then, it will be clear who has the most persuasive power.