Ryanair chief warns of higher fares due to Boeing delivery delays

Ryanair chief warns of higher fares due to Boeing delivery delays

Carrier's delayed delivery of its new Boeing additions to its fleet will cause price increases

Higher fares are likely from Ryanair this summer due to the late arrival of new Boeing aircraft 

The delayed delivery of new Boeing 737s will constrain capacity for passengers, according to group chief executive Micheal O’Leary.

In widely reported comments from a briefing at the airline’s Dublin headquarters, he said that Ryanair’s ticket prices could be up to 10% more expensive this summer as a result.

O’Leary said that a delivery of 57 B737 Maxs was due by March, but the carrier thinks only 40-45 may arrive in time for the summer season.

Boeing has been facing scrutiny since an incident in January when a panel from one of its 737 Max 9s blew out during an Alaska Airlines US domestic flight.

Elsewhere, a problem with Pratt & Whitney engines has grounded a number of Airbus aircraft used by carriers such as rival Wizz Air.

Ryanair’s schedule for this summer is based on receiving at least 50 new aircraft from Boeing.

“Minor schedule cuts” would have to be made if only 40 arrive by the end of March, according to O’Leary. 

Costs saved through hedging on fuel would mean that Ryanair’s fare increase would not be as steep as the 17% rise seen in 2023.

However, he reportedly said: “We’re doing our budgets based on a fare increase of 5%-10%, which to me feels kind of reasonable.

“It could be higher than that, it cloud be lower than that, we don’t really know.”  

He told reporters that there would be a “higher fare environment across Europe” this summer.

Ryanair’s original forecast for the year to the end of March 2025 was for carryings of 205 million passengers, up from 183.5 million in the 12 months before.

But in a BBC report, O’Leary said: “With less aircraft, maybe we’ll have to bring that 205 million down towards 200 million passengers.

“If capacity was growing, I think fares would be falling,” he added.

A Boeing spokesperson told the BBC: “We are communicating with customers that some delivery schedules may change as we take the necessary time to make sure that every airplane we deliver is high quality and meets all customer and regulatory requirements.”

They added that they “deeply regret the impact this is having on our valued customer Ryanair”.

“We’re working to address their concerns and taking action on a comprehensive plan to strengthen 737 quality and delivery performance.”