Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary at the Paris Air Show 2013

Ryanair orders 175 New Boeing Aircraft

Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, participated in his first air show at the Paris Air Show 2013 to sign a deal with Boeing for 175 new 737-800 aircraft.

These aircraft are to be delivered over the five years from 2014 to 2018 to enable Europe’s largest airline to increase in size for twenty five percent over the five years and bring more low cost fares for Europe’s consumers. O’Leary confirmed that Boeing has been delivering great aircraft for many years, and they’ve never missed a delivery date. He also said that he chose the Boeing 737-800 over the competing Airbus model, the A320, because the operating economics of the 189-seat B737-800 are superior to that of the 180 seats on the A320. The nine extra seats make a big difference. In addition, the B737-800 is a great aircraft with superior technically reliability is among the best in the. Airbus, although makes good aircrafts, doen’st have enough seats on the A320 for Ryanair. If Ryanair would fly transatlantic, O’Leary hopes that there would be a very competitive bidding process between Airbus and Boeing and he will take the aircraft that offers the lowest operating cost per seat to enable Ryanair to offer $10 fares across the Atlantic.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary at the Paris Air Show 2013

Answering a question on whether he’ll be at another air show to sign up for more aircraft, O’Leary responded, “I bloody hope not. I’d rather be signing in Seattle or New York or somewhere exciting rather than a wet and windy place like the Paris Air Show. … We’ve been in dialog with Boeing for the last four years, the major change has been a change in senior management in the last twelve months, and they’ve put more sales guys in charge. And there’s a real commitment within Boeing to do business and to recognize the need to compete aggressively with Airbus. “

I haven’t alienated myself from Airbus … they make great aircraft … The NEO has been a very successful product … it’s been too successful. You look at the EasyJet order yesterday and they can only get three aircraft in 2017 to be fair. The key thing about the Boeing order is that we get the three first deliveries in 2014 and then big chunky numbers in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary with Boeing's Ray Conner after announcing $15 billion purchase of 175 737-8 jets.

So it’s easier for us at this point to do another deal with Boeing because they have the aircraft and the willingness to continue to work with us. I think it’s harder for Airbus to do a deal with us because frankly they don’t need our business because they signed up huge numbers of the aircraft with Lion Air, Air Asia, the NEO with Pegasus, and more yesterday with EasyJet. Frankly, I’d never rule out to deal with the Airbus, if Airbus could deliver us the numbers have aircraft we need and at the right pricing, we’d do a deal.

I don’t see any prospect John Leahy leaving Airbus … he has done a terrific job over the last twenty years and he’s been one of the outstanding sales guys in the aircraft market and I hope there’s not much prospect of me leaving Ryanair for the next couple of years because I have four kids under the age of seven and I sure as hell don’t spend any more time at home. One of the opportunities that will arise if we had been allowed to acquire Air Lingus, we’ve had discussions with John Leahy, we would have placed an Airbus order very quickly if we owned Air Lingus.

Air Lingus would have continued to be an Airbus operator. You know things change and opportunities. I think it would be disingenuous to do anything other than to applaud the success of Airbus’s NEO product. It certainly has put pressure on Boeing to develop and bring forward the MAX product and that kind of competition can only be good for airlines and passengers.

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