Boeing 737 Max sees first firm order since crashes

Irish airline Ryanair has placed an order for 75 more Boeing 737 Max aircraft as the plane is set to return to the skies after two fatal crashes.

Ryanair had already agreed to buy 135 jets. The extra planes take the list value of the order to $22bn (£16.3bn).

The US Federal Aviation Administration recently certified the Boeing 737 Max for a return to service after it had been grounded since March 2019.

Ryanair said it would take delivery of the planes early next year.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is yet to give the Boeing 737 Max the go-ahead to return to service.

EASA is in charge of re-certification for EU member states, as well as the UK.

Boeing was forced to take the 737 Max out of service following two crashes within five months of each other, which together killed 346 people.

Its clearance to fly again comes after Boeing implemented a series of modifications including updating flight control software, revising crew procedures and rerouting internal wiring.

‘Modest’ discount

At a news conference in Washington to announce the deal, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary described the 737 Max as “a fabulous aircraft”.

Boeing’s chief executive, David Calhoun, said it was “the beginning of the fulfilment of a more robust order book”.

Neither side disclosed the exact price that Ryanair will pay for the planes, but the airline will benefit from what the firms described as a “modest” discount on the cost.

Mr Calhoun said Boeing did not expect to have to slash prices to bring back customers.

“We believe strongly in the recovery and therefore we will stay patient,” Mr Calhoun said. “We don’t feel a need to discount our way into the marketplace.”

Michael Ryan, was a father of two living in Cork but originally from County Clare
Michael Ryan was a father of two living in Cork but originally from County Clare

News of the deal was greeted with dismay by Naoise Ryan, of Cork in Ireland, whose husband Mick Ryan died when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 – a 737 Max – crashed in March 2019.

“Ryanair’s purchase of the Max is an endorsement of Boeing’s disregard of safety and human life. Like Boeing, they are prepared to gamble with people’s lives in order to sell cheap flights on ‘bargain-binned’ planes,” she said.

“It is horrific that Boeing can once again profit from this dangerous plane while still hiding documents and have not been held to account for the deaths of 346 people. Boeing’s attitude and dismissiveness should give everyone pause before ever boarding a Max.”

Source BBC
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