Irish budget carrier Ryanair has turned to Airbus for a possible fleet-renewal agreement, after failing to obtain suitable terms from Boeing, although neither airframer has yet offered a proposal to satisfy the airline.
Ryanair is looking at options for fleet development beyond 2013, and chief executive Michael O’Leary indicated to ATI yesterday that a deal could encompass 200 firm aircraft and options on 200 more.
While the carrier exclusively operates Boeing 737-800s, and still has dozens of the type on order, O’Leary says Ryanair has reached such a size that the benefits of a single-type fleet can be outweighed by other cost considerations.
“We’d prefer to go with whoever’s going to give us [aircraft] that are $10 per seat cheaper,” he states. Rival EasyJet already operates Airbus A320-family aircraft alongside its own 737s.
Ryanair has been discussing proposals with Airbus, after holding earlier talks with Boeing, but O’Leary insists that both airframers’ prices are “too high”.
He says that “very few” of the aircraft covered by the future order would be used for replacing the current fleet, adding: “Most would be for organic growth.”
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news