Michael O’Leary was a rare voice last year when he supported the 737 MAX amid disbelief about the future of the jetliner. Now Ryanair’s CEO has been frustrated by the fact that Boeing is unlikely to meet its goal of delivering 16 jets of the 8-200 variant to the airline in time for use during the summer season.
O’Leary revealed his disappointment with the US planemaker on Monday during the announcement of the results for the fiscal year ended March 31.
“Over the medium term, I expect those delivery problems to be resolved and I am confident that we will take at least 60 of those aircraft in advance of summer 2022. But in the short term there is nothing but a problem,” said the executive , adding that this is not a problem of the FAA or EASA, but of Boeing itself.
The 737 MAX 8-200 is a high-density version of the single-aisle jet, capable of carrying 197 passengers, eight more than Ryanair’s 737-800NG. The aircraft was certified in the US and Europe between late March and early April and deliveries were expected to begin shortly thereafter.
However, Boeing again had problems with the 737 MAX due to wirings issues and suspended deliveries of the model. Only last week, the U.S. civil aviation authority approved a fix for the problem.
Before the grounding caused by two fatal accidents, Ryanair expected to receive its first 737 MAX in March 2019, just the month in which the aircraft was banned from flying.
In December 2020, the low cost carrier expanded its order for the 737 MAX to 210 aircraft. Ryanair is also negotiating with Boeing to order 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of the narrowbody jet and capable of carrying up to 230 passengers.