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Ryanair forced to revise summer 2020 flight schedule on Boeing 737 Max issues

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Ryanair logo is pictured on the the jacket of a cabin crew member ahead of a news conference by Ryanair union representatives in Brussels, Belgium September 13, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Passengers face a cut in cheap flights available to them as Ryanair (RYA.L) has just announced that it has been forced to revise its Summer 2020 schedule due to the expectation of a delay to the delivery of new Boeing 737 Max jets.

The major European budget airline said in a statement that it now expects to cut the number of aircraft from 58 to 30 next summer and that there are likely to be cuts and closures at its bases starting this winter.

“Ryanair remains committed to the B737 Max aircraft, and now expects that it will return to flying service before the end of 2019, however the exact date of this return remains uncertain,” said Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair in a statement.

“Ryanair now hopes to receive its first MAX200 aircraft sometime between January and February 2020. Since Ryanair can only take delivery of between 6 to 8 new aircraft each month, we are now planning our summer 2020 schedules based on taking up to 30 B737 MAX aircraft deliveries up to end of May 2020.

READ MORE: Boeing 737 Max chief retires as planes stay grounded

“This is less than the 58 MAX aircraft Boeing originally scheduled to deliver for our summer 2020 schedule. This number could rise, or fall further, depending on when the B737 MAX actually returns to flight services.”

Boeing’s (BA) 737 Max fleet of jets was grounded after two fatal crashes involving the types of planes led to the death of 350 people. Recently, Boeing’s programme manager for its 737 Max fleet announced his retirement. The US giant is now trying to get its best-selling 737 Max model back in the air.

Ryanair said the changes to the summer 2020 schedule will hurt the airline’s growth for the year to March 2021, saying passengers will be cut from 162 million to approximately 157 million people.

“Ryanair will continue to work with Boeing and EASA to recover these delivery delays during the winter of 2020, so that we can restore our growth to normal levels in summer 2021,” said O’Leary.