More than two years after the initial plan, Ryanair is set to receive its first 737 MAX 8-200 this Wednesday. The Boeing aircraft, registered EI-HEN, took off from Seattle at 01:00 PDT and is expected to land in Dublin by the end of the day.
The variant ordered by the low cost carrier is of high density and was certified in 2021 to carry up to 197 passengers. As a main difference, it has two extra emergency exits at the rear of the fuselage.
Ryanair had hoped to have enough aircraft to take advantage of the summer season in Europe, but Boeing’s new delays made it impossible to debut earlier.
Originally, the Irish airline was supposed to have received the first 737 MAX 8-200 in April 2019, however, grounding the single-aisle jet a month earlier due to safety issues caused the plans to be postponed.
“Due to regrettable delivery delays, we expect to take delivery of just 12 of these aircraft during Summer 2021, with 6 delivering in Ryanair colours and 6 in Malta Air colours. “We are delighted to take delivery of our first new technology Gamchanger aircraft. These new Boeing 737 aircraft will help Ryanair lower costs, cut fuel consumption and lower noise and CO2 emissions as we invest heavily in new technology to deepen our environmental commitment as Europe’s greenest, cleanest major airline“, said Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO.
Despite this, Ryanair did not stop believing in the efficiency of the new generation of the 737 to the point that in December 2020 it increased firm orders by 75 units to 210 aircraft.
The first agreement between Boeing and Ryanair was signed in 2014 with 100 firm orders. In 2017, there was an extra order for 10 aircraft and the following year, the total was increased by 25 aircraft.
Ryanair currently has a fleet of 251 Boeing 737-800 and one 737-700.