Boeing has bagged the first-ever bulk order for its troubled 737 Max aircraft, since its grounding in March 2019. This is after Irish budget airline, Ryanair agreed to buy 75 of the planes, adding to the 135 MAX jets it previously ordered between 2014 and 2018, none of which have been delivered yet.
The European budget airline’s deal is worth more than $7 billion at current list prices.
Boeing reported just 42 MAX orders between March 2019 and October 2020, making Ryanair the jet’s largest recent customer by far.
The 737 MAX, which entered into service in 2017, is Boeing’s top-selling commercial plane, but after a spate of cancellations this year, its backlog is down to 3,320 planes. After two MAX jets in Indonesia and Ethiopia crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 347 people, Boeing faced a sharp public outcry and a heavy financial toll. The crashes led the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators worldwide to ground the planes and forced Boeing to pause production.
Since then, Boeing has rolled out design changes, aiming to rebuild confidence and clear the planes for flight again.
Boeing 737 Max has now received its first airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), thus ending its 20-month-old grounding order. The certificate now authorizes the aircraft to fly. However, each new 737 MAX built since the grounding order needs an airworthiness certificate. Furthermore, each U.S. airline will also need the FAA to approve its 737 MAX pilot training program before returning the jets to service.
Ryanair is an Irish budget airline, with its headquarters in Swords, Dublin, Ireland. Its primary operational bases are at Dublin and London Stansted airports. It operates more than 400 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The airline’s route network serves 38 countries in Europe, North Africa (Morocco), and the Middle East (Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan).