Ryanair, the largest low cost aircraft carrier in Europe, has just bought another 75 Boeing 737 Max, the aircraft that has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two deadly accidents occurred in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The aircraft is expected to resume flying in the coming weeks. The Boing 737 Max - slightly modified to accommodate 197 seats instead of the 189 standard ones – will be renamed 737 8200.
The model purchased by Ryanair has a current list price of 124.8 million dollars, but airlines usually get a discount of 60-65% on important orders.
“In the coming years we will increase to 600 aircraft in our fleet,” explains Michael O'Leary, CEO of the Ryanair Group at the contract signing ceremony in Washington D.C.
According to O'Leary the total order will be worth 22 billion dollars, based on the official price and not considering the probable discounts.
The Boeing 737 Max aircraft was grounded in March 2019 immediately after the accident in Ethiopia after takeoff. In the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi 157 people lost their lives. At the end of October 2018, the same aircraft had another accident just off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia: the plane plunged in the sea and sank shortly after take-off killing 189 people.
Subsequent investigations have pointed the finger at the Mcas, the anti-stall software that has now been modified.
Michael O'Leary does not rule out some problems with future passengers. "It is possible that in three to six months' time we may find customers who do not want to board the new aircraft," he told journalists, "and at that point there is no problem because we could have them board another flight operated by the NG model. But I think that there will be few of them because this is a great aircraft".
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