Boeing’s 737 MAX is grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes.
This will cut Ryanair‘s summer 2020 growth rate from 7% to 3%, and means full-year traffic growth for the year to March 2021 will be cut from 162 million guests to approximately 157 million.
“This shortfall in aircraft deliveries will necessitate some base cuts and closures for summer 2020, but also for the winter 2019 schedule,” a statement from Ryanair said.
“We are starting a series of discussions with our airports to determine which of Ryanair‘s underperforming or loss-making bases should suffer these short-term cuts and/or closures from November 2019.
“We will also be consulting with our people and our unions in planning and implementing these base cuts and closures, which are directly caused by the B737 MAX delivery delays to the B737 MAX programme.
737 MAX 200
Ryanair is slated to be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “Ryanair remains committed to the B737 MAX aircraft, and now expects that it will return to flying service before the end of 2019. However, the exact date of this return remains uncertain. Boeing is hoping that a certification package will be submitted to regulators by September with a return to service shortly thereafter. We believe it would be prudent to plan for that date to slip by some months, possibly as late as December.
“As Ryanair [has] ordered the Boeing MAX200s, which are a variant of the MAX aircraft, these need to be separately certified by the FAA and EASA. Ryanair expects that the MAX200 will be approved for flight services within two months of the MAX return to service.”
At the weekend, American Airlines said it was extending cancellations of about 115 daily flights for the fourth time.
Yesterday, a photograph emerged of a Boeing 737 Max due to be delivered to Ryanair displaying the model’s name as 737-8200 rather than 737 MAX on the nose of the aircraft, fuelling speculation that the plane will be rebranded when it returns to service.