Introduction to service of the Boeing 737 Max will be a "game changer" for Ryanair, argues the budget airline's finance chief Neil Sorahan.

Speaking after the carrier released its first-quarter earnings today, Sorahan highlighted the aircraft as a key part of a "relentless focus on cost" at Ryanair.

"In 2019, we start to take delivery of the Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft, or 'The Game Changer' as we've christened it at Ryanair, because we think it's the next step up in the evolution of costs in Ryanair," Sorahan says.

The airline has 100 737 Max jets on firm order, plus 100 options, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Aside from a 16% improvement in fuel efficiency over Ryanair's current fleet of 737-800s, the Max 200 will carry more passengers – 197 versus 189 – without incurring extra cabin costs, says Sorahan.

"This aircraft has 4%, or eight, more seats than the current 737. We get those seats without any additional cost in the cabin – we have a cabin crew member for every 50 passengers," he notes.

Ryanair currently has 353 in-service 737-800s, Flight Fleets Analyzer indicates, with 115 outstanding firm orders for that variant, on top of its 737 Max orders.

Source: Cirium Dashboard