Ryanair hints at plan to dump Boeing jets in favour of bitter rival Airbus – Telegraph.co.uk

Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryanair, has hinted that Europe’s biggest airline may dump Boeing in favour of Airbus after talks with the US plane maker over a new order of jets fell apart.

Mr O’Leary criticised Boeing for refusing to discount its planes to a level that was acceptable for the Irish carrier. Failure to agree a new deal would be a significant blow for the US aerospace titan and deprive it of one of its biggest customers.

The two companies have been in talks for 10 months over the order of Boeing 737 Max10 planes.

Mr O’Leary said: “We are disappointed we couldn’t reach an agreement with Boeing on a Max10 order. However, Boeing has a more optimistic outlook on aircraft pricing than we do, and we have a disciplined track record of not paying high prices for aircraft.”

Ryanair has already agreed to take delivery of 200 Boeing 737 Max aircraft – a model whose rollout has been significantly disrupted after two crashes in short order two years ago. 

Airbus has capitalised on Boeing’s problems by securing deals with airlines that have traditionally been Boeing customers. Last week Jet2 said it would buy up to 60 Airbus A321Neo aircraft in a deal worth $4.9bn.

Mr O’Leary said: “We have a more than sufficient order pipeline to allow us to grow strongly over the next five years with a Boeing 737 fleet, which will rise to over 600 aircraft and will enable Ryanair to capitalise on the extraordinary growth opportunities that are emerging all over Europe as the Continent recovers from the Covid pandemic.”

“We do not share Boeing’s optimistic pricing outlook, although this may explain why in recent weeks other large Boeing customers such as Delta and Jet2, have been placing new orders with Airbus, rather than Boeing.”

Ryanair has historically run an all-Boeing fleet, though subsidiary Lauda flies Airbus planes.

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