• Kai Murtagh

Ryanair posts healthy earnings and makes new offer to Boeing for 737 MAX-10 aircraft

Ryanair Holdings plc has managed to post an €88 million ($98 million) profit for the third quarter of its current fiscal year. The group has also shown renewed confidence in the MAX by making an undisclosed offer for MAX 10 aircraft. This comes despite the continued grounding of the 737 MAX fleet which has halted the airline group's expansion plans and forced base and route cuts in recent months.

Photo by Karam Sodhi | AeroNewsX.

The MAX "will transform our cost base and our business for the next decade,” said Ryanair

The reported earnings are up from a €66 million loss during the same quarter last year. The driving force for this increase was the better than anticipated fare sales during the Christmas and New Year holidays which saw an average rise in fares of 9%. Sales for the airline increased by 21% for the quarter, with revenue coming to €1.91 billion ($2.12 billion), up from last year's €1.58 billion ($1.75 billion), and the total number of passengers carried during the quarter coming to 36 million.

Laudamotion, a subsidiary of the Ryanair group, had a less successful Q3, despite high load factors and strong traffic growth. This is reportedly due to high competition from the Lufthansa group which has caused Lauda to decrease its fares to a level not seen in other subsidiaries. Ryanair also plans on increasing the Lauda fleet from 23 to 38 A320s by Summer 2020.

The group's other subsidiaries have, however, been able perform to the standard of the main airline, with Buzz and Malta Air's fleet both continuing to grow.

In related news, the MAX-200 is now not expected to enter service with Ryanair until September or October. The delay in receiving these aircraft has been directly attributed to the group's forecasted delay in achieving the 200 million passenger per year goal from FY2024 to as late as FY2026. Ryanair does however hope to take on the MAX soon, and has expressed confidence in the aircraft to deliver on its promise of increased seat capacity and less emissions.

In an additional interesting development, Ryanair has proposed an offer for an undisclosed number of 737-MAX 10 aircraft to Boeing. This would be in addition to the 210 737-MAX-200s already on order.

Michael O' Leary, the group CEO has said: "We are already in discussions with Boeing. We have an offer on the table for an order for new MAX 10s, which is a 230-seat aircraft... And we expect to be at the head of the queue."

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