Boeing has inked its first major 737 MAX sale since a pair of fatal crashes that has grounded the plane since March 2019, with Irish low-cost airline Ryanair agreeing to buy 75 of the 8-200 variant Tuesday, weeks after the Federal Aviation Administration granted approval for the planes to return to service, - Forbes reports.
Ryanair will add these 75 planes to the 135 MAX jets it previously ordered between 2014 and 2018, none of which have been delivered yet according to figures from Boeing.
Ryanair did not disclose the cost of the planes, but it said in a statement that Boeing agreed to a “modest reduction” in price, estimating the total value of its 210 MAX orders at more than $22 billion (analysts believe the airline likely negotiated a significant discount).
Boeing reported just 42 MAX orders between March 2019 (when the planes were first grounded) and October 2020, making Ryanair the jet’s largest recent customer by far.
It’s unclear when these planes will be delivered: Boeing referred questions about delivery dates to Ryanair, and Ryanair did not respond to questions from Forbes.
Ryanair is eyeing another large 737 MAX order at some point in the next 18 months, CEO Michael O’Leary told Reuters Thursday.
Even though the FAA cleared the 737 MAX for flight, it will likely take months for many of the planes to return to service. Airlines will need to implement Boeing’s design changes and retrain their pilots on simulators before they can fly again. Plus, airlines are grappling with a collapse in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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