Ryanair sees Boeing's 200-seat "minor model" of the 737 Max 8 and Airbus's planned 189-seat A320neo as contenders for its next aircraft order.
Speaking in London today, O'Leary welcomed Boeing's intention to offer a capacity-boosted version of its re-engined narrowbody. But he stresses there is no intention to amend the carrier's existing 180-aircraft order for 189-seat 737-800s due for delivery between September this year and 2018.
"We will take those aircraft as is, but for the next round of aircraft, [for the period] 2019 to 2025, we are looking at the 189-seat Airbus or what I hope will be a 197 to 198-seat 737," Michael O'Leary tells Flightglobal.
Boeing diclosed its plan for a 200-seat Max 8 during this month's Farnborough air show. Airbus, meanwhile, intends to raise the number of passengers the A320 is certificated to carry from 180 to 189 with an internal configuration change based on a larger door and installation of a wider slide.
O'Leary acknowledges that Ryanair had been pressing Boeing for some time for a 737-800 with more seating, and says he would be keen to see details of what efficiency savings could be offered by more capacious 737, but future purchases would only be considered if the "price was right".
On the possibility that the Irish budget carrier could turn to Airbus for aircraft in the future, he says: "We have a long-standing relationship with Boeing, and in the future I suspect we will operate largely with Boeing aircraft, but I think we would be keen to operate some Airbus aircraft somewhere in the business and have two suppliers."
Source: Cirium Dashboard