Delivery delays at Boeing are a “challenge,” says Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary

RYANAIR’s ability to gain market share from rivals in a looming economic slowdown is threatened by delivery delays from jetmaker Boeing, according to Michael O’Leary, the airline’s group chief executive.

r O’Leary said yesterday he was concerned the US planemaker could only deliver 12 or 13 of the 21 Max planes Ryanair is due to receive before Christmas and would need to deliver nearly 40 by the start of the summer high at the end of May.

“Boeing is a challenge,” Mr. O’Leary said at a briefing in Rome.

“The only dark cloud on the horizon right now is whether Boeing can deliver enough planes for us to continue growing faster in the recession?” he said.

A failure to deliver all 51 jets by the end of June would result in a reduction in summer capacity growth, according to Mr O’Leary.

Ryanair has claimed an economic slump will be good for business as cash-strapped Europeans trade on the lowest fares available rather than giving up travel altogether.

Mr. O’Leary plans to visit Boeing’s manufacturing center in Seattle later this month to discuss delays the planemaker has linked to supplier issues and labor shortages.

While Boeing is still working through a backlog of completed but undelivered 737s following the landing of the Max after two fatal crashes, as well as a number of China-bound jets held up by a model stall in the Asian nation, Ryanair has orders for a special high-density version of the jet.

Boeing said it values ​​its partnership with Ryanair and is committed to supporting the Irish carrier.

Following Ryanair’s annual general meeting in Dublin last month, Mr O’Leary said he doubted Boeing could deliver on time.

“They say they can,” he said. “We doubt their ability to deliver. We were supposed to receive 21 aircraft before Christmas. Now they’re murmuring it could be 17 or 15. It’s difficult to get hard data from Boeing.”

He said at the time there were “issues” with the Seattle production, and “we want to understand those issues.”

Davy Stockbrokers – Ryanair’s own broker – predicted this month that supply chain issues could “modestly” impact max deliveries ahead of next summer.

Davy said he still expects Ryanair to carry more than 166 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of next March. That is more than in fiscal year 2019.

Davy has also predicted that Ryanair will carry 185 million passengers in fiscal 2024 and 225 million by 2026.

Production issues are also a concern for Boeing competitor Airbus, which lowered its full-year delivery target after seeing plans to ramp up monthly production of the A320 series frustrated by problems at suppliers, including engine manufacturers.

According to economists polled by Bloomberg, who were forecasting growth a month ago, the euro zone economy is expected to contract next year amid rising inflation and energy costs. Delivery delays at Boeing are a “challenge,” says Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary

Fry Electronics Team

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