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Mark Stedman/
base closures

Ryanair to cut services this winter over Boeing 737 MAX aircraft delays

The airline is looking at which bases “should suffer these short term cuts and/or closures from November 2019″.

AIRLINE RYANAIR HAS said it will be making cuts to its winter 2019 and summer 2020 schedules through base cuts and closures, over delays in the delivery of new Boeing aircraft.

In a statement this morning, CEO Michael O’Leary said the airline was now in the process of identifying which “underperforming or loss-making bases should suffer these short-term cuts and/or closures from November 2019″.

Ryanair remains committed the new Boeing 737 MAX jet fleet, but said the exact date when it can return to service remains “uncertain”. 

All Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded by aviation authorities after two fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX 8 edition of the aircraft – one with Indonesian Lion Air and another with Ethiopian Airlines.

Ryanair hopes to take delivery of its first MAX 800 planes by January or February 2020.

O’Leary said: “Boeing is hoping that a certification package will be submitted to regulators by September with a return to service shortly thereafter. We believe it would be prudent to plan for that date to slip by some months, possibly as late as December.”

It had been originally planned to deliver 58 of these aircraft in time for the summer 2020 schedule, but the maximum that is now expected is 30, Ryanair said.

“For planning purposes, Ryanair will now revise its summer 2020 schedule based on 30 incremental aircraft, rather than 58,” O’Leary said. “This will cut Ryanair’s summer 2020 growth rate from 7% to 3%, and means full year traffic growth for the year to March 2021 will be cut from 162 million guests to approximately 157 million.”

He added the airline would be in contact with staff and unions about implementing the closure of bases, and added it had all been directly caused by the Boeing issues.

It hopes to return to full services in summer 2021.

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