The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Irish low-cost air carrier Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, said that the airline expected to receive the first highly-anticipated Boeing 737 MAX 8-200 jet as soon as in April 2021.
The CEO said the delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8-200 aircraft would be postponed to April 2021 because Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) nor the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the MAX 8-200 jet yet. O’Leary disclosed that the airline hoped to take up to eight aircraft in April 2021 and eight aircraft in May 2021. Initially, Ryanair expected to receive the first special variant of the MAX jet by March 2021.
“We had hoped to take our first MAX delivery in late March. We think that’s now unlikely – it still hasn’t been certified. We’re hoping that the MAX 8-200 will be certified by the FAA sometime later this week and then by EASA either later this week or early next week. In those circumstances, we would expect to take probably our first MAX delivery, the Gamechanger aircraft, in April,” O’Leary said while speaking in the media conference on March 24, 2021.
For summer season 2021, the airline hopes to have 16 Boeing 737 MAX 8- 200 aircraft ‒8 in April and 8 in May. “We’re not taking any deliveries in June,” O’Leary added. However, the company has no need for these aircraft at the moment as it hopes to operate only about 80% of the pre-COVID capacity.
“But we are anxious to get the aircraft delivered so we can start training pilots, the cabin crew can get familiar with them, and customers can enjoy flying them,“ the Ryanair CEO said.
The special variant 737 MAX 8-200 is based on the 737 MAX 8. Boeing has developed it in response to the prior forecasts of the fast low-cost sector growth. In 2014, Ryanair made a commitment to purchase 100 aircraft of this type. However, after the Boeing 737 MAX was grounded worldwide following two deadly crashes, Ryanair’s deliveries were postponed multiple times.
Ryanair already has 135 of the 197-seat MAX 200 on order and expects to receive its final jet by the end of 2024. According to the Boeing 737 MAX orders list, the airline now has a total of 210 jets on order.