Timing of deliveries steered Ryanair towards more 737-800s

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Timing, as well as price, was a big factor in Ryanair's decision to stick with the Boeing 737-800 narrowbody for its fleet expansion.

The Irish low-cost carrier confirmed a $15.6 billion order - at list prices - for 175 737-800s at the Paris air show. Deliveries are to span a five-year period from 2014 to 2019.

"The 737 Max never really came into the equation because of the period that we were ordering aircraft," said Ryanair's treasurer Jim Dempsey, speaking at the Ascend Finance Forum yesterday. "The Max only really starts deliveries in 2017, and we really wanted aircraft between now and 2018 and 2019, so the decision on the Max was kind of deferred as part of the discussion."

Asked if he had considered the Airbus A320neo, Dempsey, says: "The 737-800 that we operate now is extremely fuel efficient. We would consider the fuel-burn ratio on the 737-800 to be close enough to where the A320neo is going to come in, given the way we operate."

Dempsey admits the A320neo would also introduce the "question marks" and additional costs associated with operating a dual fleet.

"And to be honest, we got a very good deal at Boeing," he adds.