Already the leading European customer for Boeing’s ‘737 Max’ model, Ryanair has added 75 more jets to an existing order of 135 (still yet to be delivered), taking the total value of the contract to £16.3 billion. The aircraft are set to be rolled out on a staggered basis between spring 2021 and December 2024.
The ‘737 Max’ is Boeing’s best-selling commercial aircraft model, with 387 in service globally and described by Geoffrey Thomas – founder of respected airline safety review site Airline Ratings – as the ‘workhouse of the world’. It is 15% more ‘fuel efficient’ than its predecessor, considerably more ‘climate friendly’ and has an ‘average dispatch reliability rate of 99.4%’.
However, the model has faced its fair share of controversy in recent years following two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed almost 350 lives. The incident resulted in a 20 month grounding of the entire ‘737 Max’ fleet, which reportedly cost Boeing $20 billion and an undisclosed number of millions in compensation to clients.
Today, the ‘737 Max’ still makes up about 40% of Boeing’s profits.
News of the sale sent Boeing’s share price up a hefty 8.38% to 236.27p on Thursday afternoon 03/12/20, after a tumultuous year with global travel appetite plummeting and sending shares down to an annual low of 94.28p in March. In recent weeks, shares have rallied and remained steadily around the 200.00p mark, and are probably set to increase over the Christmas period as holidaymakers frantically try to make the most of the brief respite in travel restrictions.
Another widely-anticipated lockdown in the New Year, however, could send Boeing’s shares tumbling back down again in the near future.