Ryanair mulls Russian and Chinese aircraft

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Ryanair claims it is now speaking with Russian and Chinese manufacturers after walking away from discussions with Boeing on a 200-aircraft order in late 2009.

After failing to seal the order for up to 200 737-800s at a sufficiently attractive price, Ryanair said it would instead focus on maximising its profits for distribution to shareholders.

While there is "no detailed engagement at the moment", Ryanair deputy CEO Michael Cawley says: "We're talking to everybody - the Russians and the Chinese as well."

Cawley insists that these alternative suppliers could be a viable option for Ryanair: "Why wouldn't we? At the right price it makes perfect sense to buy, so long as it is fuel efficient. We are not wedded to any aircraft manufacturer."

He reiterates that Ryanair will not expand beyond 300 aircraft if it does not find an attractive enough deal. Ryanair has a further 25 aircraft due for delivery. Its net fleet after disposals will total 299 aircraft by March 2013.