Ryanair ready to pick up any Boeing 737 MAX 10 orders dropped by US carriers 

Boeing 737,Max,10
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Ryanair has announced that it would be interested in any Boeing 737 MAX 10 delivery slots, should they be vacated by any US airline that decides to withdraw from the purchase of the aircraft. The announcement comes amid rising tensions between United Airlines and Boeing executives who have entered a war of words over the type since the Alaska Airlines mid-air blow-out incident in January. 2024. 

According to a report by Reuters, Ryanair has informed Boeing that should any US-based carrier refuse to take delivery of any 737 MAX 10 aircraft they have on order, the Irish low-cost carrier would be interested in buying them “at the right price”. 

Ryanair, already Europe’s largest airline by both passenger numbers and aircraft fleet size, currently has 150 firm orders for the 737 MAX 10 and holds options for 150 more, with the first deliveries due in 2027.  

Despite the mid-air blowout of a cabin panel on a new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 aircraft on January 5, 2024, Boeing has said that it still expects the larger MAX 10 variant to be certified by the end of 2024 and flying early next year. The grounding of the MAX 9 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now been lifted and the type has resumed commercial services in the United States after checks.  

However, United Airlines’ CEO Scott Kirby, recently stated that the airline would begin building a new fleet plan that does not include the 737 MAX 10 and “is already in talks with Airbus”. The development is the latest twist in the 737 MAX 10 saga which has already seen its certification process become bogged down in delays and uncertainty, even before the Alaska Airlines incident. 


United Airlines currently has 277 737 MAX 10 aircraft on order with options for a further 200 planes thereafter.  

“If Scott Kirby doesn’t want to take his MAX 10s, then we’ll very happily take them at the right price,” said Ryanair Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan in an interview on January 29, 2024,.  

Sorahan added that he considers Kirby’s latest comments about the 737 MAX 10 as “unhelpful.” He also said that Ryanair remains hopeful that the 737 MAX 10 will be certified before the end of 2024 and flying by the start of 2025 as promised by Boeing. 

When questioned whether Ryanair was nervous about its huge reliance on the MAX family of planes or was considering ways to diversify, Sorahan said: “No, I think the MAX is a great aircraft.”  

However, he added that were anything to happen to the 737 MAX program, Ryanair would have the option of not selling older 737s – a practice it has relied on in the past for fleet turnover as newer aircraft have been delivered. 

Ryanair and CFM International agreed on a deal for the LEAP 1-B to power the airline's newest order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
Bradley Caslin / Shutterstock.com

“We have told them if some of these American airlines don’t want to take the MAX 10 aircraft, Ryanair will take those aircraft,” Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a presentation on the airline’s quarterly results. O’Leary described the 737 MAX 10 as “transformational” and said Boeing would always make great aircraft “but quality does need to be improved”. 

Ryanair currently has 136 737 MAX 8 aircraft operating in its fleet, alongside 409 earlier generation 737-800s in a fleet of 574 aircraft. The carrier plans to eventually increase its Boeing MAX fleet to 210 MAX 8s and up to 300 MAX 10s. 

The carrier also has 27 Airbus A320s operated by its Maltese-registered subsidiary Lauda Europe, plus a single Boeing 737-700 operated by Polish subsidiary Buzz. 

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