O'Leary will bide time over next aircraft order

London
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Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary believes the budget carrier is under no pressure to seal a new aircraft deal and that anyone ordering aircraft at current prices "needs their head examined".

The Irish budget carrier ended talks on a potential 200-strong order for Boeing 737-800s at the end of 2009 and is yet to place an order for new aircraft as it approaches the final deliveries of the Boeing 737-800s that have underpinned its last decade of growth.

"We are talking to Airbus and Boeing and Comac. But all we are doing is talking, we are not in negotiations," said O'Leary about the status of any aircraft order during a results press conference in London.

"I would like to do a deal for around 200 to 300 new aircraft, but only when they are cheap enough. Anyone ordering aircraft right now needs their head examined," he says. The carrier is looking at deliveries in the 2015/16 timeframe and O'Leary says it is in no rush to place an order.

"We are under no pressure to do an aircraft deal. I would not foresee us doing anything in [2012]," he says. This may remain the case next year too, he adds.

But he believes the difficult market conditions, ongoing cutbacks at rival carriers and airline failures will help drive the price of aircraft down. For example, he cites the recent deferrals into 2017/18 by key Boeing 737 customer Southwest Airlines. "I think the market is moving towards us," he says.