Ryanair has ordered 300 new Boeing 737-MAX-10 aircraft, consisting of 150 firm orders and 150 options. The deal, worth over $40 billion at current list prices, is the largest order ever placed by an Irish company for US-manufactured goods.
According to the European budget airline, the new jets will be delivered between 2027 and 2033, enabling Ryanair to grow its annual traffic by 80% to 300 million passengers by 2034.
With 228 seats, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 will enable Ryanair to create over 10,000 jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and engineers. In addition, the airline expects to replace 50% of its older Boeing 737NGs with the new MAX jets, resulting in one of Europe’s youngest, most fuel-efficient, and environmentally sustainable fleets.
According to Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, these planes will drive significant revenue growth across Europe and help achieve the airline’s goal of providing low fares to millions of people.
“Ryanair is pleased to sign this record aircraft order for up to 300 MAX 10s with our aircraft partner Boeing,” said O’Leary. “These new, fuel-efficient, greener technology aircraft offer 21% more seats, burn 20% less fuel, and are 50% quieter than our B737-NGs.”
According to the airline’s chief, this new order is set to create thousands of new jobs over the next decade—all scattered across Europe’s leading airports where “Ryanair is currently the No.1 or No.2 airline.”
Boeing’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, said that the Boeing-Ryanair partnership has been one of the most productive in commercial aviation history, and this landmark deal will further strengthen the cooperation. Ryanair remains one of the world’s leading all-Boeing 737 operators.
“Nearly a quarter century after our companies signed our first direct airplane purchase, this landmark deal will further strengthen our partnership,” said Calhoun. “We are committed to delivering for Ryanair and helping Europe’s largest airline group achieve its goals by offering its customers the lowest fares in Europe.”
As noted by O’Leary, the company anticipates passing on the cost savings resulting from the extra seats on the new Boeing 737 MAX 10, its lower fuel burn, and more competitive aircraft pricing to passengers through lower airfares.
“The Boeing MAX-10 is the ideal growth aircraft order for Ryanair, our passengers, our people, and our shareholders,” he added.
According to the airline, the transaction is still subject to shareholder approval at Ryanair’s upcoming annual general meeting in September. However, given its strong balance sheet and positive credit rating, Ryanair expects to finance the capex substantially from internal cash flows.
A Major Endorsement For Boeing
Will Horton, a renowned airline analyst, believes that Ryanair’s massive order could be “a catalyst for the 737 MAX 10’s success.”
Horton explains that despite significant orders from big legacy carriers like Delta and United, these carriers typically operate their aircraft until they reach the end of their life. In contrast, Ryanair is known for creating a secondary aircraft market, which boosts variant demand and residual value. As a result, Horton is confident that other airlines will follow Ryanair’s example and continue to order the 737’s largest variant.
Jon Ostrower, founder and editor-in-chief at The Air Current, confirms that with the 2033 timeline for Ryanair’s order, “the Boeing 737 will have been in production for 66 years — across four generations of the jet.”
Ryanair’s latest move comes at a perfect time, with more than 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8-200s still waiting to be delivered. This decision serves as a strong endorsement of the Boeing 737 MAX program and indicates Ryanair’s confidence in the model’s safety and reliability.
Although negotiations were long and challenging, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary expressed satisfaction with the happy conclusion. “We had a bit of a dust-up over pricing about a year ago, but now we’ve got this worked out,” he said.