Things are finally looking up for Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft. After working on the aircraft systems for more than a year, Boeing secured clearances from regulators in the US and Europe to start flying the plane again. The regulatory approvals were also good news for airlines, who had suffered massive losses due to the grounding of the 737 MAX.
Boeing 737 MAX Orders Restart
The spate of cancellation of orders for the Boeing 737 MAX continued all through the year. Boeing has so far lost close to 800 Boeing 737 MAX orders. However, new orders started trickling in from August this year. Five aircraft were ordered together by Enter-Air Poland and one more undisclosed customer. As of August this year, Boeing is yet to supply over 4,000 737 OMAX aircraft.
The Ryanair Order
Boeing’s shot in the arm came early this week when Irish budget airline Ryanair ordered seventy-five Boeing 737 QMAX aircraft. Ryanair has exercised its option of buying additional planes of this model. The airline is going to spend $7 billion on this deal.
This order comes on top of the 135 that are already under manufacturing with Boeing. The total 737 MAX order now stands at 210. Ryanair had placed the initial order for 100 737 MAXs in 2014. Boeing has so far not delivered any 737 MAX to Ryanair.
Michael O’Leary, the airline’s chief executive, said –
We’re proud to buy them. We’re proud to fly them. The order will help the airline’s growth as travel demand returns”.
Expansion Plans on Track
Along with the order, Ryanair also announced new routes and a new base at Venice Treviso Airport (TSF). In a press release, the airline said it would be placing two aircraft at the Treviso airport. Venice Treviso is approximately 30 kilometres away from Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), the city’s main airport.
The press release further stated that the airline will now offer 45 routes from its Treviso connection to twenty countries across Europe. This initiative will support additional 2,000 jobs in the local economy. Ryanair plans to begin operations from its new base at Treviso Airport starting March 30, 2021. The airline is investing $200 million in setting up this new operation.
Earlier in the week, the airline had launched its new base at Paris Beauvais with two aircraft (with an investment of $200 million) and 28 routes connecting Paris Beauvais to over 10 countries across Europe.
The Ryanair initiatives are truly a positive development – the skies are getting brighter for travellers and airlines.
We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.