Despite its profit turning to loss for the first half of financial year 2020-21, European Low-cost airline Ryanair is positive of the future and hoping to have a fleet of 30 Boeing 737 MAX by the peak summer season in 2021.
Ryanair’s results for the first half of financial year 2020/21 saw the airline turning from a €1bn profit to €200m loss over the six months, Simpleflying.com reported terming the that the figures made up for some painful reading.
The website reported passenger traffic having plummeted 80 percent, a symptom, that it said, was a result of the ever-changing government travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.
For Ryanair, passenger traffic plummeted 80 percent compared to the same period last year to just 17 million, a figure the airline blames on changing travel restrictions. Although a net loss of €197m ($229) is a world away from last year’s profit of almost €1bn ($1.3bn), there are some hopeful sentiments in the reports, Simpleflying.com said.
In particular, the group is betting big on the 737 MAX to change its fortune in the coming years. Ryanair has orders in with Boeing for up to 210, 737 MAX aircraft, all of which are the specially configured 200 version, seating more passengers with an extra emergency exit to accommodate the upgraded limit. This is made up of 135 firm orders plus 75 options.
Targeting a fleet of 30 before the peak season next year is optimistic thinking on Ryanair’s part for sure. As of November 2020, the Boeing 737 MAX has not yet been cleared to fly by the US regulator, let alone regulators anywhere else in the world. Ryanair’s special 200 seat version will require additional scrutiny, which will inevitably lead to delays, so it remains to be seen whether this is a realistic outlook, the aviation website reported.
Boeing has been forced to pay out compensation to airlines affected by the grounding of the 737 MAX. While Ryanair’s situation has inevitably had some reprieve given the events of 2020, the airline was still seeking reimbursement from the US manufacturer for the lack of aircraft deliveries.