Ryanair faces challenges to its Winter 2023 schedule from Boeing aircraft delivery delays but maintains a positive outlook for meeting its annual traffic targets. The airline’s scheduled delivery was for 27 new aircraft between September and December 2023. Production hiccups at the Spirit Fuselage facility in Wichita and Boeing’s repair and delivery delays in Seattle have impacted these plans. As a result, only 14 aircraft will be delivered in this period.
Boeing Aircraft Delays Prompt Adjustments in Ryanair’s Winter 2023 Schedule
Ryanair is implementing several reductions in its Winter 2023 schedule to adapt to this unexpected development.
- The number of Charleroi-based aircraft is reduced by three.
- Dublin will see a reduction of two.
- Five aircraft will be reduced across four Italian bases, including Bergamo, Naples, and Pisa.
- East Midlands, Porto, and Cologne will also experience aircraft reductions.
These reductions are due to a lack of spare aircraft during the winter, as scheduled maintenance is underway across Ryanair’s extensive fleet of over 550 aircraft. This maintenance is necessary to ensure all aircraft are in optimal condition for the summer 2024 schedule, which the airline plans to be the largest ever.
Assurance from Ryanair’s Leadership
Despite these challenges, Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, expressed confidence that the schedule will not be impacted for long.
“We are working closely with Boeing and their supplier, Spirit, to minimize these delivery delays,” O’Leary said. “It is deeply regrettable that production problems in Wichita and in Seattle have yet again delayed Boeing’s contracted deliveries to Ryanair this winter. We are in regular dialogue with Boeing, and our primary objective is to ensure we get delivery of all 57 contracted B737 aircraft before the end of May 2024, so that Ryanair’s fleet can grow to over 600 aircraft for what will be our largest-ever summer flight program.”
Customer Communication and Options
The airline will inform affected passengers scheduled for flights at the end of October via email. Ryanair offers re-accommodation on alternative flights or full refunds to mitigate the inconvenience. The airline apologizes to passengers and stakeholders for the disruptions caused by these delivery delays.
A Steady Outlook
Despite the prevailing challenges, O’Leary remains optimistic that the full-year traffic target of 183.5 million will remain unaffected. However, he indicated a potential review of this figure should the aircraft delivery delays extend into January to March 2024.