Ryanair has finalized a firm order for 175 Boeing 737-800s, which Boeing values at $15.6 billion at list prices.
However, Ryanair will be paying nothing near this much, since its order helps Boeing ensure that production of the Boeing 737NG family keeps the 737 line fully occupied at a high level of activity until the line switches over to production of the new Boeing 737 MAX family.
The Ryanair deal, originally announced as a commitment in March, is Boeing’s largest-ever aircraft order from a European airline.
At a signing ceremony on June 19 at the Paris Air Show 2013, Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of Ryanair, joined Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ president and CEO, to finalize the deal.
O’Leary flew into Le Bourget Airport for the air show on one of Ryanair’s 303 existing Boeing 737-800s, which bore a special livery celebrating the agreement.
“Ryanair is proud to buy Boeing, who make great aircraft, and the 737-800 has been the foundation of Ryanair’s recent successful growth due to its great engineering and phenomenal reliability,” says O’Leary.
“These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower costs and airfares even further,” O’Leary adds. “They provide Ryanair with the additional capacity to exploit substantial growth opportunities that now exist as many of Europe’s flag and regional airlines are restructuring and are reducing their short-haul operations.”
The Boeing 737-800 is the best-selling version of the 737NG family.
Ryanair, which took delivery of its first Boeing 737-800 from the manufacturer in 1999 and now operates an all-737-800 fleet, has the largest fleet of Boeing jets in Europe. Its aircraft operate more than 1,600 flights per day from 57 bases on 1,600 routes among 29 countries, connecting more than 180 destinations.
The June 19 finalizing of the Ryanair deal brings the total number of Boeing 737 aircraft ordered since production began in the mid-1960s to more than 11,000. Boeing currently has unfilled orders for more than 3,400 737s, all of them either 737NGs or 737 MAX aircraft.