Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair’s 175-aircraft deal: How much did Michael pay?

Michael O'Leary Ray Conner

“I’m paying higher prices, I’m just not allowed to say so,” Michael O’Leary told the media on Tuesday, joking that Boeing executives got him drunk on St. Patrick’s Day before he signed the much-anticipated deal for 175 (count them) new Next Generation Boeing 737-800 airplanes.

The deal would be worth $15.6bn at current list prices, Ryanair claimed. Others speculated that the discounts could be more than 53pc and one analyst speculated the price was $7bn. In the midst of the post-signing knockabout, O’Leary repeated his headline-seeking proposal, originally made three years ago, to charge for use of the one remaining front toilet. He quipped that Ryanair would donate those profits to “prostate cancer and incontinence research” before giving another virtuoso TV interview on CNBC.

Boeing’s Ray Conner said Boeing’s “partnership with this great European low-cost carrier is of the utmost importance to everyone at The Boeing Company, and I could not be more proud to see it extended for years to come.” .

Ryanair expects to get the first new aircraft at the end of 2014. O’Leary said about 75 of the new-order 737s would replace older airplanes, the other 100 would help the fleet to grow to 400 by 2019. Ryanair expects passenger numbers to grow around 20pc to 100m passengers by 2019, and workforce to expand from 8,500 to around 11,500.

Analysts applauded. Stephen Furlong of Daveys said Ryanair shares will hit €7, Donal O’Neill of Goodbodys’ went higher to €7.25 (reached all time high of €6.30 on Tuesday). So did commentators. John Mulligan suggested the 175 aircraft could just be the start of a Ryanair spending spree. Stephen Trimble of Flightglobal speculated Ryanair would sign a deal to purchase 100 of the new 737 Max by the end of the year.

Ryanair said we continue to evaluate the benefits of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft which enters service in 2017. Announcing an Algarve route in Shannon, Michael Cawley said that Ryanair is NOT going long-haul.

This was Boeing’s largest deal to date in 2013 and largest ever aircraft order from a European airline. It will keep their production line going for five months. Boeing say their Next-Generation 737 to be built at the new production rate of 38 airplanes a month.

There were celebrations in Toulouse too as Airbus reported orders for 422 Airbus A32Xs over the course of a week, 200 by Lion Air in Indonesia, 117 from Turkish, and 105 from Lufthansa. Reuters profiled Rusdi Kirana’s rise from typewriter salesman to airline supremo. Tony Fernandez of Air Asia X questioned his rival Lion Air’s growth plan. Reuters reported that Delta are to purchase 20 each of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737

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