Ryanair cuts its scheduling amid 737 MAX delivery delays

A Ryanair 737 taxis to the runway.
Grzegorz Jereczek from Gdańsk, Poland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Ryanair (FR) has confirmed that Boeing now expect to deliver just 40 of the 57 planned B737-MAX8200 aircraft that were due to be delivered to the carrier before the end of June 2024.

Airline CEO Michael O’Leary had recently floated the reduced delivery number. He issued a warning of potential air fare rises over summer as a result.

Subsequently, Ryanair has announced a scheduling cut and adjustments to its summer 2024 (S24) schedule due to the shortfall in Boeing aircraft deliveries.

The airline is now working to minimize the impact on travel plans.

Confirmed: Delayed Boeing Deliveries

Originally, Ryanair anticipated receiving 57 of the new B737-MAX8200 aircraft by the end of June 2024. However, Boeing has now officially informed them that only 40 will be delivered within that timeframe.

This shortfall necessitates schedule changes, as Ryanair’s current S24 plan was based on having at least 50 new B737s.

Ryanair has been amongst industry figures raising concerns about quality control issues which have dogged the US aircraft manufacturer. The ongoing issues have created a slowdown in new aircraft production.

With the shortfall in aircraft deliveries now confirmed, the airline is working to minimize the impact on travel plans.

A view across a Ryanair 737 wing at sunset.
Bene Riobó, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary said:“We are very disappointed at these latest Boeing delivery delays, but we continue to work with Boeing to maximise the number of new B737 aircraft we receive by the end of June.”

“We will now work with Boeing to take delayed aircraft deliveries during Aug and Sept 2024 to help Boeing reduce their delivery backlog,” he stated.

Impact on Summer Schedule

To accommodate the Boeing delivery delays, Ryanair will need to reduce approximately 10 “aircraft lines” of flying during the peak summer months.

This translates to minor schedule changes across Ryanair’s extensive 600-aircraft fleet over July, August and September.

Passengers on affected routes can expect reduced frequencies rather than complete route cancellations.

Ryanair has already implemented these schedule adjustments at some higher-cost airports. This included Dublin, Milan Malpensa, Warsaw Modlin, and four Portuguese locations.

All impacted passengers have been notified of the changes and offered alternative flight options or full refunds if their preferred flight is no longer available.

A line-up of Ryanair aircraft at sunset.
Photo Credit: Ryanair

Revised Traffic Forecast and Impact on Passengers

Ryanair expects the reduced aircraft availability to affect its passenger traffic for the fiscal year ending March 2025 (FY25).

The revised forecast predicts a passenger count of just under 200 million, slightly lower than the initial target of 205 million.

While this may cause some inconvenience, Ryanair is working to mitigate the impact on passengers by:

  • Collaborating with Boeing to accept deliveries of the delayed aircraft during the peak summer months, even though they cannot be offered for sale due to the late arrival.
  • Working with airport partners to shift some growth to later months (September and October) when lower fares are typically available.

Conclusion

Ryanair has expressed its regret for the inconvenience caused by the scheduling cut, with circumstances beyond their control.

They remain committed to supporting Boeing as they work through these temporary production and quality control challenges.

Additionally, they anticipate that these delays, combined with similar issues affecting competitors, may lead to slightly higher airfares across Europe this summer.

Bearing this in mind, they have encouraged customers to book early to secure the best rates.


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Ryanair has confirmed an expected shortfall in Boeing 737 MAX deliveries, cutting scheduling across peak summer months as a result.
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