Boeing Delivery Delays Impact Ryanair’s 2024 Summer Season Schedule

Ryanair anticipates a shortage of five to ten aircraft for its peak summer season in 2024 due to delays in Boeing's deliveries, which may necessitate a revision of its traffic growth, according to CEO Michael O'Leary in a Financial Times interview on Tuesday. Ryanair was scheduled to receive 57 Boeing MAX 8200 planes by the end of April, but O'Leary suggests that the delays will likely result in the airline carrying 200 million passengers for the financial year starting in April, as opposed to the previously forecasted 205 million.


The budget airline had to make adjustments to its winter schedule due to these ongoing delays, which led to a reduction in its traffic forecast for the year to March 2024 from 185 million to 183.5 million passengers, indicating a 9% year-on-year growth. "We were expecting 27 aircraft to be delivered before Christmas, but we only received 11. We were supposed to have 57 aircraft delivered to us by the end of April, but we think we'd be fortunate to get 50 by the end of June," O'Leary stated in the Financial Times interview. "So, we're likely to be short of five, seven, or possibly ten aircraft for this year's peak summer season."


He added, "If we're talking about a shortfall of 5 million out of 205 million passengers, it probably costs us two, two and a half percent of profits." Following an incident on Friday where a panel called a door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after departing from a Portland, Oregon, airport, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded 171 MAX 9 planes on Saturday. While Ryanair operates and orders different variants of the 737 MAX from the type grounded, O'Leary stated that Boeing and its competitor Airbus "need to significantly improve quality control" as they strive to overcome production delays.


Ryanair, the largest airline in Europe by passenger numbers, exclusively uses Boeing 737s for its mainline fleet and is one of Boeing's largest customers. "The 737 is fine. But it doesn't need these kind of short-term reputational issues," O'Leary said in the interview.

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