Boeing reaches $40B deal with Ryanair
Aerospace contractor to provide up to 300 737 MAX-10 jets
Irish air carrier Ryanair plans to order as many as 300 Boeing 737 MAX-10 aircraft from Arlington County-based Fortune 100 contractor Boeing Co. in a $40 billion deal, the two companies announced Tuesday.
Subject to approval by Ryanair’s stockholders, the deal includes a firm order from the airline for 150 aircraft and an option for another 150 aircraft, with delivery to start in 2027 and continue through 2033, said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. Each jet will have 228 seats — about 40 seats more than Ryanair’s previous fleet.
About 150 of the 737 MAX-10 jets will replace older jets in Ryanair’s fleet. The jets are expected to grow Ryanair’s passengers from 168 million passengers annually to more than 300 million annually by 2034, creating 10,000 jobs for pilots, cabin, crew and engineers across Europe in the next decade.
O’Leary said the aircraft use fuel efficient, greener technology, offer 21% more seats, burn 20% less fuel and are 50% quieter than older jets in its fleet.
The low-cost airline plans to use the new fleet to lower airfares in Europe over the next decade, he added, saying that Ryanair follows the model of Southwest Airlines, also a Boeing customer.
“The Boeing-Ryanair partnership is one of the most productive in commercial aviation history, enabling both companies to succeed and expand affordable travel to hundreds of millions of people,” Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun said in a statement. “Nearly a quarter century after our companies signed our first direct airplane purchase, this landmark deal will further strengthen our partnership. We are committed to delivering for Ryanair and helping the airline group achieve its goals.”
Boeing has received a number of large orders recently, many from the Pentagon.
In April, Boeing received a $313.4 million contract modification to upgrade and extend the service life of 25 Navy Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon announced. In March, Boeing announced it would build 184 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the U.S. Army and international customers under a $1.9 billion contract modification announced by the Pentagon. In January, Boeing said it would help the Air Force expand its fleet of KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft under a $2.25 billion contract modification announced by the Pentagon.
Last November, Boeing announced a series of leadership changes and a reorganization to consolidate its eight divisions within its Boeing Defense, Space and Security unit into four as the company aimed to accelerate its operational discipline, quality and performance. That followed a report in October 2022 from Reuters that the company’s defense unit appointed a new chief operating officer to shore up money-losing defense programs as it dealt with delays and cost overruns on fixed-price contracts.
On the commercial airline front, Boeing has faced problems with its 737 Max, 787 Dreamliner and 767 jets in recent years. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing paused delivery of some of its 737 Max jets because parts were installed wrong. That followed a halt in January of delivery of its troubled 787 Dreamliner over documentation issues. The program had previously been halted by U.S. regulators for nearly two years prior after problems surfaced with the aircraft, and the Federal Aviation Administration launched a review of its production in 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Boeing is the world’s third largest defense contractor. In May 2022, the company moved its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington County. A month after announcing the move, the company and Virginia Tech announced a partnership to open the Boeing Center for Veteran Transition and Military Families at the university’s $1 billion Innovation Campus in Alexandria, which is expected to open in 2024. Support for the center comes from a record $50 million donation the company made to Tech in 2021 to support diversity at the graduate campus.