Continued delays in re-certification of the Boeing 737-MAX and the MAX-200 variant by the FAA and European authorities are having a major affect on operators who are relying on the (currently grounded) aircraft. Of those looking ahead to the northern hemisphere summer of 2020, few are affected more than Ryanair.
Boeing was hoping to have the bans lifted in mid-December but at the earliest, now seems to be more likely in January/February of 2020.
The busiest airline in Europe, Ryanair has 135 MAXs on order and was expecting to be able to operate 58 in the summer of 2020. However as a result of the grounding 30 aircraft due to be acquired in April 2019 will be probably delivered only in the first or second quarter of 2020. The operator has now revised its predictions for the financial year to March 2021 down twice, from an initial 162 million passengers to 157m and more recently cutting a further million to 156m.
Its bases in Europe are to be reduced, specifically those which make heavy loses in the northern winter. These are mostly holiday destinations in Spain; Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Girona and Tenerife, but also Nuremberg in Germany and Skavsta-Nyköping in Sweden. (~100km south-west of Stockholm) Ryanair assures those affected by the base closures that the destinations will be served by its flights from other destinations.
Equally saddening are the associated anticipated staff cuts; the operator is expecting to shed 900 jobs.
One hopes for a rapid return to service of the 737. A safe return of course, that is.