Ryanair expects to start flying with the 737 MAX in March or April

The CEO indicates that they do not have «plan B» in the event that the plane is never certified

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said Thursday during the shareholders meeting that expecting 737 MAX deliveries to occur between January and February is «a bit ambitious,» so he hopes the model will Enter your fleet between March and April.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing Boeing software updates so that the 737 MAX can fly again. The model has been locked since March after two fatal accidents in less than six months.

Major US airlines have canceled all scheduled flights with the MAX until December, while Southwest Airlines has extended this deadline until January.

Ryanair is one of the largest clients of the MAX with 135 firm airplane orders and 75 in expansion option. O’Leary has said that the «best case» is that they start flying in January, although «it is unlikely.»

After the approval of the FAA, the update must be approved by the rest of the world authorities that have it blocked, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in the case of those belonging to Ryanair. In addition, the MAX200 model expected by the company will require additional approvals.

Therefore, the CEO of Ryanair has indicated that the best option would be for the first plane to arrive in January, «although most likely it will be between February and March» if the MAXs fly again in the United States before Christmas.

The executive has shown hope that the FAA and EASA approve «more or less at the same time» the return to operations of this model once Boeing demonstrates its safety. In his opinion, both authorities «are on the same page, but do not agree on everything» and stressed that Boeing is focused «on addressing the FAA first, because until it gives its approval it will not become a problem of EASA

Ryanair has reduced the number of MAX aircraft that will fly in the summer of 2020 from 60 to 30, although if they continue to be delayed this reduction could be greater. «If MAX were never certified, it would be devastating for the industry» due to delays in orders from major aircraft manufacturers, said O’Leary, who said they don’t have «a plan B».

In addition, he has detailed that the company’s plan is to transfer more aircraft from its fleet to the subsidiaries of Malta – Malta Air – and Poland – Ryanair Sun.