Low-cost airline Rynair has made aviation history by placing the largest plane order ever made in Europe. The airline has bought 175 Next Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft, costing nearly $15.6 billion.
The ambitious expansion plans, yet to be approved by Ryanair’s shareholders, would see the airline’s fleet grow to 400 aircraft by the end of 2018. Ryanair has said that the new planes would create more than 3,000 jobs across Europe and the airline would be able to serve up to 100 million passengers per year.
“Ryanair is proud to buy Boeing, who have always made great aircraft and the 737-800 has been the cornerstone of Ryanair’s success due to its great engineering and phenomenal reliability,” said Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair. “These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower cost and airfares even further, thereby widening Ryanair’s cost and price leadership over other airlines in Europe.”
“They provide Ryanair with the additional capacity to exploit substantial growth opportunities that currently exist as many of Europe’s flag carrier and smaller airlines are restructuring and reducing their short-haul operations,” he added.
The order will become Boeing’s largest deal in 2013 so far, as soon as it is approved, and is the largest aircraft order ever placed in European history. Around 75 of the new aircraft will replace some of the airline's 305 Boeing 737’s, but the majority of the new fleet will go on expanding Ryanair’s existing fleet.
"This purchase agreement is an amazing testament to the value that the Next Generation 737 brings to Ryanair,” said Ray Conner, CEO and president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are pleased that the Next-Generation 737, as the most efficient, most reliable large single-aisle airplane flying today, has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the Ryanair fleet.