O'Leary: Ryanair Would Buy Any MAX 10 Order Dropped By US Carriers

Ryanair, Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers, has told Boeing that it would purchase any 737 MAX 10 aircraft that are not taken by US customers, executives said on Monday.

The Irish low-cost carrier already has 150 firm orders for the MAX 10, the largest jet in the 737 family, and options for 150 more, with the first deliveries expected in 2027.

The offer comes amid uncertainty over the future of the MAX 10, which has faced regulatory and delivery delays, as well as a recent incident involving a cabin panel blowout on a new Alaska Airlines MAX 9 plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted its grounding order for the MAX 9 last week, but some US airlines have expressed doubts about the MAX 10.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, whose company has ordered 277 MAX 10 jets with options for another 200, said last week that his airline would build a new fleet plan that does not include the model.

Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in a presentation on the airline's quarterly results that Ryanair would take advantage of any opportunity to acquire more MAX 10 jets at a discounted price.

"We have told them if some of these American airlines don't want to take the MAX 10 aircraft, Ryanair will take those aircraft," O'Leary said.

He described the MAX 10 as "transformational" and said Boeing would always make great aircraft "but quality does need to be improved."

Ryanair Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said the comments last week by United's Kirby were "unhelpful."

"If Scott Kirby doesn't want to take his MAX 10s, then we'll very happily take them at the right price," Sorahan said in an interview.

Sorahan said he was "hopeful" the MAX 10 would be certified by the end of the year and flying at the start of 2025.

Ryanair currently has 136 MAX 8 aircraft and 409 earlier generation 737s in a fleet of 574 jets, but plans to increase that eventually to 210 MAX 8s and up to 300 MAX 10s.

Asked if Ryanair was nervous about its huge reliance on the MAX or was looking at ways to diversify, Sorahan said: "No, I think the MAX is a great aircraft."

But he said "if something were to happen", Ryanair would have the option of not selling its older 737s.

"But the reality is we're very keen to get our hands on as many of the 8200s and the 10s as we an to grow over the next few years," he said.

The 8200 is the high-density version of the MAX 8 ordered by Ryanair.

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