Irish budget airline Ryanair has just made one of the largest orders with U.S. aerospace company Boeing. The deal, reportedly worth $2.2 billion could include up to 200 of its 737 Max planes.
Essentially, Ryanair has ordered an entire new fleet for its company and is promising more leg room for passengers. Ironically, the company will achieve this feat, despite squeezing in eight additional seats. The new Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft has a capacity of 200 but the budget airline plans to fit the planes with 197 passenger seats – eight more than its current fleet of Boeing 737-800s.
The deal will see Ryanair commit to buy 100 of the new 737 Max 200 series, valued at $11 billion at current list prices, with the option to buy another 100 of the planes, reported City A.M. Ryanair said it will take delivery of the new planes from 2019, and expects them to help it grow its passenger numbers from 82 million in 2014 to over 150 million by 2024. Internal estimates reveal that the additional seats would be worth $100,000 per plane a year. Speaking about the extensive deal, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said,
“These new ‘game-changer’ aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience. I hope it will hasten in an era of a new price war in Europe over the next 10 years, which like all the old price wars, Ryanair will win.”
What is Boeing offering? The new Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft is essentially a modification of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 aircraft and has the same external dimensions, reported The Daily Mail. Just like its brethren, the Boeing 737 is claimed to be much quieter and provide 18-20 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than the most efficient single-aisle airplanes today, claimed Boeing.
The fuel efficiency achieved is partially due to the fact that there is more passenger capacity, but Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary promised passengers will be more comfortable in the 737 Max planes thanks to slimmer seats and smaller toilets and galleys in a redesigned fuselage that includes an additional emergency exit.
There are currently 30 inches between the front of one seat and the front of the next, and the space is expected to increase slightly on the new jets, which will have less cabin space, claimed Michael. He added that the 737 Max aircraft contain new features that will trim its operating costs by around 20 percent. Moreover, the budget airline promises to pass on the savings on to customers via lower fares.
Boeing has been strongly establishing its lead in the commercial aviation industry. This deal, if unaltered or scrapped will help cement its dominance.
[Image Credit | Visualization Design, Getty]