Business

Ryanair to cancel flights over delays in new Boeing aircraft deliveries

The Dublin-based airline said it will be forced to make ‘minor schedule changes’.

Ryanair said it will cancel flights this summer due to delays in aircraft deliveries
Ryanair said it will cancel flights this summer due to delays in aircraft deliveries. (Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA)

Ryanair has announced it will cancel flights this summer due to delays in aircraft deliveries.

The Dublin-based airline said it will be forced to make “minor schedule changes” as it will only receive 40 of the 57 planned Boeing 737 MAX 8200 planes before the end of June.

Ryanair’s current summer schedule is based on it receiving a minimum of 50.

The carrier said in a statement: “Ryanair will now have to reduce approximately 10 aircraft lines of flying for the peak summer months of July, August and September.

Ryanair’s group chief executive Michael O’Leary said he is ‘very disappointed at these latest Boeing delivery delays’
Ryanair’s group chief executive Michael O’Leary Ryanair’s group chief executive Michael O’Leary said he is ‘very disappointed at these latest Boeing delivery delays’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

“This will cause some minor schedule changes in the context of Ryanair’s 600 aircraft fleet and will reduce frequencies on existing routes rather than cutting new routes.”

It added it has already implemented schedule cuts at some of its “higher cost airports” such as Dublin, Milan Malpensa, Warsaw Modlin and four Portuguese airports.

A Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines suffered a mid-air blowout on January 5.

This sparked major concerns about quality control at Boeing, resulting in its production speed being limited.

Ryanair’s group chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We are very disappointed at these latest Boeing delivery delays, but we continue to work with Boeing to maximise the number of new B737 aircraft we receive by the end of June, which we can confidently release for sale to customers during the summer 2024 peak.

“We will now work with Boeing to take delayed aircraft deliveries during August and September 2024 to help Boeing reduce their delivery backlog.

“We regret any inconvenience caused to some customers and our airport partners by these enforced summer 2024 schedule changes.”

Mr O’Leary said this would reduce the number of passengers it will carry in the year to the end of March 2025 to “between 198 million to 200 million” compared with an initial forecast of 205 million.

The airline expects passenger numbers for the year to the end of this month to be 184 million.

Mr O’Leary went on: “We are working with our airport partners to deliver some growth to them, albeit later in September and October rather than July and August.

“This traffic growth can only be delivered at lower fares during these shoulder months.

“Boeing continues to have Ryanair’s wholehearted support as they work through these temporary challenges, and we are confident that their senior management team, led by Dave Calhoun (chief executive) and Brian West (chief financial officer), will resolve these production delays and quality control issues in both Wichita and Seattle.

“We expect these latest Boeing delivery delays, which regrettably are beyond Ryanair’s control, combined with the grounding of up to 20% of our Airbus competitors’ A320 fleets in Europe, will lead to more constrained capacity and slightly higher air fares for consumers in Europe in summer 2024.

“We therefore urge all Ryanair customers to book early in order to secure the lowest available air fares for summer 2024.”