Ryanair has cut back further its Boeing 737 Max fleet forecast, expecting only 20 aircraft to arrive in time for the 2020 summer season.
The airline originally planned to have 58 of the type in service ahead of the summer peak, but had already been forced to halve this to 30 following the Max’s worldwide grounding.
Ryanair is revising this forecast again, as a result of the continuing delay to the aircraft’s return to service, pushing back the expected delivery date of its first 737 Max to March-April.
“The risk of further delay is rising,” the airline says, pointing out that it has cut its summer 2020 growth outlook from 7% to 3% and trimmed its 2020-21 passenger number forecast from 162 million to 157 million.
Postponement of the Max deliveries means Ryanair will not benefit from the type’s cost savings until the 2020-21 fiscal year.
It states that it has “frozen” pre-delivery payments and that discussions with the US airframer are “ongoing”.
Ryanair is blaming the delay for a decision to shut loss-making bases over the winter season. “We continue to work with our people and their unions to finalise this process,” it adds.