Ryanair to take delivery of its first 737 MAX aircraft Wednesday evening

Jun 16, 2021

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After years of waiting, Ryanair is finally getting its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Ryanair’s first 737 MAX is currently en route to the airline’s base in Dublin, Ireland (DUB), where it’s expected to land later on Wednesday evening.

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The first of Ryanair’s 210 MAX aircraft on order is set to be delivered to Ryanair, having departed from Boeing Field in Seattle (BFI) at 1:15 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning. The aircraft — registered as EI-HEN — is currently over Canada as of time of publication. It’s expected to land in Dublin (DUB) at 5:12 p.m. local time.

(Image courtesy of FlightRadar24)

The 737 MAX has the range to complete the 4,5,35-mile flight, or about 3,941 nautical miles. According to Boeing, the 787 MAX 8 has a range of 3,550 nautical miles. Being that the delivery flight is on the lighter side with few passengers — if any — and cargo on board, the aircraft will have the range to make the nonstop journey.

Ryanair has 210 737 MAX aircraft on order after having first ordered the aircraft in 2014. The airline is expected to base the MAX aircraft in its fleet at its bases of London Stansted (STN) and Dublin (DUB). The aircraft will then operate on its route network around Europe, featuring a total of 197 seats on the aircraft.

As first reported by the Independent, Ryanair is going to permit passengers to switch their aircraft if they don’t feel comfortable travelling on a MAX.

“So confident are we in this aircraft, so confident our passengers will want to travel on this aircraft, we’ll allow them to offload if they don’t want to travel on a MAX,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told the Independent. “They won’t get a refund but they can travel on the next available flight on that route. If you’re reluctant to fly on the MAX you can offload and fly on the next ‘NG’ aircraft – which thankfully in Stansted or in Dublin won’t be very long behind you.”

O’Leary said that the offer to switch to a different aircraft will be permitted for four to six months.

The beleaguered 737 MAX has slowly returned to service following its worldwide grounding, which lasted 20 months, following two fatal incidents with Lion Air in late 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines in 2019. Combined, the two incidents took 346 lives. The MAX was recertified to enter service in Europe and the U.K. in January.

“It’s carried more than a million passengers in the past five months, there have been no recorded incidents, the software has been fixed and I think people are really going to love flying on this aeroplane,” O’Leary said.

The delay in getting the first of its 737 MAX aircraft has hampered Ryanair’s plans for a strong summer with the aircraft in its fleet. Originally, Ryanair had expected to have 24 of the MAX aircraft in its fleet for the summer period.

Featured photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images.

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