Boeing has launched the 737 MAX 200, a new member of the 737 MAX family, with a commitment from Ryanair for 100 aircraft.
Ryanair, which is Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, will be the first airline to operate the Boeing 737 MAX 200. It is scheduled to take delivery of its first 737 MAX 200s in 2019.
The 737 MAX 200 will be a variant of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 that will accommodate up to 200 seats.
In addition to Ryanair’s initial 100-aircraft commitment, which Boeing values at $11 billion at current list prices, Ryanair has secured options to purchase another 100 737 MAX 200s.
“Ryanair is proud and honored to become the lead operator of Boeing’s ‘gamechanger’ 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024,” says Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair.
“These new ‘gamechanger’ aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience with more leg room and the Boeing Sky Interior, as we roll out new offers, particularly for our Business Plus and Family Extra customers,” says O’Leary.
“As many of Europe’s flag carriers cut capacity on short-haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these new Boeing 737 MAX 200s to grow at many more of Europe’s primary airports,” remarks O’Leary.
Boeing says it is developing the 737 MAX 200 in response to the needs of the fast-growing low-cost airline sector, which is forecast to account for 35 per cent of single-aisle airline capacity by 2033.
According to Boeing, the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats. But, for those airlines which desire the extra capacity over the 737 MAX 8’s 189-seat maximum, the 737 MAX 200 will provide carriers with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and operating costs up to five per cent lower than those of the 737 MAX 8.
“The 737 MAX 200 is the perfect fit for Ryanair, providing improved efficiencies, 20 per cent lower emissions, increased revenues and a high level of passenger comfort,” says Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO.
“The new variant will play a significant role in enabling the airline to continue to expand its operations, while providing passengers across Europe with outstanding value,” says Conner. “For everyone at Boeing, it is an honor to launch the 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair, one of the world’s most successful all-Boeing operators.”
Based on the 737 MAX 8 airframe, the Boeing 737 MAX 200 can accommodate up to 200 seats by incorporating a mid-exit door, increasing the exit limit.
According to Boeing, the 737 MAX 200 airframe is 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) longer than that of the Airbus A320neo. However, the cabin width of the 737 MAX family is seven inches less than that of the A320neo family and its overall fuselage width is 12 inches less than that of the A320neo family.
To date, the manufacturer has booked firm orders for 2,239 Boeing 737 MAX jets from 46 customers worldwide. This does not take into account Ryanair’s latest commitment for 100 737 MAX 200s, because the firm order is not finalized yet.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, Ryanair operates more than 1,600 flights daily from 69 bases connecting 186 destinations in 30 countries.
Currently operating more than 300 Boeing 737-800s in an all-737-800 fleet, Ryanair took delivery of its first 737 in 1994, and now operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in Europe.
Employing more than 9,500 people, the airline expects to fly more than 86 million passengers this year.
Ryanair is in the process of taking deliveries from orders for a total of 180 Boeing 737-800 jets which it placed in March 2013 (for 175 aircraft) and April 2014 (for five aircraft). Some aircraft will be used for fleet expansion but many will replace older, leased 737-800s now in Ryanair’s fleet.