FAA Expected To Certify The Boeing 737 MAX 200 This Week

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary has shared some key updates regarding the certification and delivery schedule of its highly-anticipated Boeing 737 MAX 200. The head of the Irish carrier said in a press conference today that the model could be certified as early as this week, and the first units are expected to arrive at the airline’s facilities next month.

The Boeing 737 MAX has been cleared to fly again, but the MAX 200 still needs to be certified. Photo: Getty Images

The “Gamechanger”

At the end of last year, Ryanair announced that it raised its MAX 200 order from 135 to 210 aircraft. The low-cost carrier emphasized that the plane is the most audited and regulated in the history of aviation. Moreover, the jet’s features have enabled it to be dubbed as a “Gamechanger” by Ryanair. Along with a range of external factors, Ryanair is thrilled about the eight more seats available than its 737-800NGs.

Altogether, despite not needing the aircraft immediately, O’Leary is excited to get them in the air. He feels that it will be a great experience across the board due to the balance of economics and efficiency. The executive highlights that the aircraft reduces noise emissions by 40%, so customers and airport neighbors will be glad about the improvements. He added that there is also 16% less fuel burn, and the savings will be passed on to the passengers.

The firm order for the new aircraft exceeds $22 billion, and they are expected to debut on UK services. Photo: Getty Images

The all-important schedule

Despite delays, Ryanair won’t have to wait long to hit the skies with the plane. There are significant breakthroughs expected in the next few weeks.

“We had hoped to take our first MAX delivery in late March. We think that’s now unlikely – it still hasn’t been certified. We’re hoping that the MAX-8200 will be certified by the FAA sometime later this week and then by EASA either later this week or early next week. In those circumstances, we would expect to take probably our first MAX delivery, the Gamechanger aircraft, in April. We would be hopeful then that we could take up eight deliveries in April and eight deliveries in May. We’re not taking any deliveries in June,” O’Leary said in the conference.

“That would leave us with an additional 16 aircraft for the summer of 2021. But given that, at this point in time, we’re only factoring to operate about 80% of our pre-COVID peak capacity, you know, we don’t need these aircraft. But we are anxious to get the aircraft delivered so we can start training pilots, the cabin crew can get familiar with them, and customers can enjoy flying them.”

With plenty of pent-up demand, Ryanair will be hoping for a better summer than the last one. Photo: Getty Images

Preparing for the next stage

Even though the pandemic has massively impacted operations over the last year, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Ryanair is hopeful that there will be some restrictions lifted this summer. Europe is facing another rise in virus cases, but O’Leary is optimistic that there will be more activity this summer. He expresses that as the vaccine rollout continues, significant portions of vulnerable groups will be protected. So, if there are increases in virus figures, the number of severe cases will be considerably lower.

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Even if traffic is not near pre-pandemic levels, the activity is still expected to be greater than last summer. Therefore, these new MAX 200s of Ryanair will be ready for the next chapter.

What are your thoughts about Ryanair’s Boeing 737 MAX order? Are you looking to fly on the type with the carrier this year? Let us know what you think of the aircraft in the comment section.