Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, has been in talks with Boeing for 10 months about an order for up to 200 of the new 230 seater aircraft.
In a statement, the no-frills carrier said it had become clear over the past week that “the pricing gap between the partners could not be closed and accordingly, both sides have agreed to waste no more time on these negotiations”.
The deal had been viewed as important for Boeing, following a string of order cancellations and deferrals for its aircraft following the disruption to the industry triggered by the Covid pandemic.
Ryanair’s O’Leary said: “We are disappointed we couldn’t reach agreement with Boeing on a MAX10 order. However, Boeing have a more optimistic outlook on aircraft pricing than we do, and we have a disciplined track record of not paying high prices for aircraft.
He added: “We do not share Boeing’s optimistic pricing outlook, although this may explain why in recent weeks other large Boeing customers such as Delta and Jet2, have been placing new orders with Airbus, rather than Boeing.”
Boeing did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Ryanair is already Europe’s biggest customer for the 737 MAX, with 210 firm orders of the 197-seat MAX 8-200 model.
It had been considering a further order for the 230-seat MAX 10 for delivery once the current order is completed in 2025.
The first deal will see Ryanair’s fleet grow to over 600 aircraft capable of carrying over 200m passengers per year.
Ryanair claims the airline has a “more than sufficient” pipeline of new aircraft to allow for growth over the next five years.
It said this will enable Ryanair “to capitalise on the extraordinary growth opportunities that are emerging all over Europe as the Continent recovers from the Covid pandemic.”