| 29 November 2023, Wednesday |

Ryanair to cut flights this winter due to Boeing delivery delays

Ryanair shortened its winter schedule on Thursday owing to Boeing aircraft supply delays, but Europe’s largest airline by passenger counts said its full-year traffic projection was unaffected “yet.”

Ryanair, one of Boeing’s top customers, said in a statement that it planned to receive 27 planes between September and December.

However, production delays at the Spirit Fuselage facility in Wichita, Kansas, combined with Boeing repair and delivery delays in Seattle, meant the budget airline now expects to receive only 14 aircraft between October and December.

It did not say how many planes were delivered in September

The Irish airline said it was working to try to accelerate deliveries from January to May 2024 but that if the delays worsen or extend into early next year, it may have to revise down its traffic forecast.

A senior Ryanair executive later told Reuters the delays may last into next summer and that it was “too early to say” if it would receive the full order of 57 jets by May 2024.

“We think there may be some delays into next summer, but on a small number of aircraft,” Eddie Wilson, the head of Ryanair DAC, the largest airline in the group, said in an interview in Lisbon.

Ryanair shares, which are up 28% this year, were 0.4% higher at 1530 GMT, reversing earlier session losses.

Asked if it could confirm the delays and when deliveries would be up to date, a spokesperson for Boeing said that the planemaker valued its partnership with Ryanair and was committed to supporting the airline.

Ryanair already trimmed its full-year passenger forecast to 183.5 million from 185 million in July, citing potential Boeing delays, as well as the impact of air traffic control strikes.

Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary consistently blasted Boeing throughout last year for delays that impacted deliveries up to its key 2023 summer season, but buried the hatchet in May with a multibillion-dollar deal for as many as 300 Boeing jets.

Ryanair executives had said deliveries had “significantly improved” before Boeing discovered a production flaw last month that has slowed deliveries of its best-selling 737 MAX aircraft.

Flight cancellations will take effect from the end of October, and will be communicated to all affected passengers by email over the coming days, Ryanair said.

It will cut three aircraft from those based at Charleroi airport in Belgium, two from Dublin and five from Italian airports, including Bergamo, Naples and Pisa. There will also be aircraft reductions at East Midlands airport in the UK, Porto in Portugal and Cologne, Germany, it said.

  • Reuters