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A Ryanair flight with people boarding it

A deficiency in aircraft availability may lead to a 10% increase in airfares throughout Europe during the upcoming summer season, according to a cautionary statement issued by Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary. O’Leary also expressed concerns about potential reductions in routes as airlines confront capacity limitations.

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In discussions with the press, O’Leary anticipated a “heightened fare atmosphere across Europe.”

Ryanair’s primary concern revolves around the Boeing 737 Max, experiencing delays in delivery from the U.S. manufacturer. As one of Boeing’s major clients worldwide, the European budget airline operates hundreds of Boeing 737 planes and has numerous Max jets on its procurement list.


Michael O’Leary CEO of Ryanair


O’Leary mentioned that Ryanair expected to receive 57 Max planes by the conclusion of the upcoming month. Nevertheless, it’s anticipated that only 40 to 45 aircraft will be prepared for the crucial summer period.

The conclusion of March holds significance as it marks the official commencement of the summer timetable in the industry. Various carriers, including Ryanair, reposition aircraft and operational assets to capitalize on the profitable peak travel season.

Adding to the complexity, Easter arrives relatively early this year. Consequently, numerous European families are expected to travel in late March and early April for vacations coinciding with the school break.

“If we receive only around 40 new planes by the end of March, it seems necessary to consider announcing some minor adjustments to the schedule,” remarked O’Leary.

Boeing’s Capacity Conundrum: Straining to Keep Up

Increasing the output of its primary narrow-body aircraft presents significant challenges for Boeing. In addition to widespread supply chain disruptions, the company is confronted with distinct pressures.

In the previous month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced its refusal to authorize any augmentation of production for the 737 Max program. This decision came in the wake of a critical incident aboard an Alaska Airlines aircraft on January 5, during which a door plug dislodged mid-flight.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized that Boeing cannot expect a return to routine operations. He stated, “Boeing will not receive approval for production expansion or the establishment of additional production lines for the 737 Max until we are confident that the quality control issues identified during this period have been addressed


737 Max Program


Potential End To A Long Lasting Partnership?

Ryanair’s public involvement stands out given the airline’s significant partnership with Boeing. During a recent 737 Max crisis, O’Leary expressed his views, praising Boeing’s Group CEO and CFO as a competent duo.

He emphasized the importance of supporting Dave Calhoun and Brian West for Boeing’s sustained success. While he expressed reservations about the Seattle management, O’Leary expressed strong confidence in Calhoun and West, believing they are steering Boeing in the right direction.

In contrast, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby mentioned exploring “alternative plans” regarding fleet options excluding the Boeing 737 Max 10. O’Leary criticized this remark as “foolish.

Travel Crisis Looms In Europe

Ryanair isn’t the sole entity grappling with capacity limitations. Wizz Air, a low-cost competitor, has faced significant challenges stemming from issues with Pratt & Whitney engines powering its Airbus A320neo aircraft. Inspections and any necessary fixes can extend up to six weeks for each affected plane.

This predicament has affected over 30 airlines globally, including Spirit in the United States, Air New Zealand, and IndiGo in India.

By December 31, Ryanair had integrated 136 Boeing 737 Max 8-200s into its fleet of 574 aircraft. The airline anticipated incorporating up to 174 737 Max 8s into its operations before the peak summer period in 2024.

A representative from Boeing mentioned, “We’re in discussions with customers regarding potential adjustments to delivery timelines to ensure that every aircraft we provide meets stringent quality standards and regulatory prerequisites.”

Regarding the matter, a Ryanair spokesperson informed Fuse Chronicles that they had no additional remarks to offer beyond those expressed by O’Leary.

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travel and tourism blogger

Chinedu Okoronkwo known fondly by friends as Fuse is a Father, biochemist, certified business administrator and entrepreneur specializing in supply chain management and logistics, with vast experience in founding and building businesses in this space. Having worked in an embassy for a number of years and with a passion for traveling, he started Fuse Chronicles, a platform that offers information on everything related to global travels and issues confronting cultural acclimatization around the globe. 


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