Ryanair has announced a £10bn deal with Boeing for new planes, which will create 3,000 jobs across Europe.
Promising even lower fares, the Irish no-frills airline said it was taking 175 new Boeing 737-800s as it aims to fly more than 100 million passengers a year by the beginning of 2019.
Around 75 of the new aircraft will replace some of Ryanair's existing fleet of 737s – the plane known as the "workhorse of the skies" – but the remainder will see the airlines fleet grow resulting in new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers at its bases across Europe.
“Ryanair is pleased to sign this agreement with Boeing to purchase 175 new 737-800 jets, which will expand our fleet to over 400 units, creating over 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers, while allowing us to grow our low-cost airline service by about 5 per cent per annum over the next several years,” said Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.
“Ryanair is proud to buy Boeing, who have always made great aircraft and the 737-800 has been the cornerstone of Ryanair’s success due to its great engineering and phenomenal reliability.
“These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower cost and airfares even further, thereby widening Ryanair’s cost and price leadership over other airlines in Europe.
“They provide Ryanair with the additional capacity to exploit substantial growth opportunities that currently exist as many of Europe’s flag carrier and smaller airlines are restructuring and reducing their short-haul operations.”
The agreement was signed by O’Leary and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President CEO Ray Conner in New York today and upon approval by Ryanair’s shareholders, the purchase will become Boeing’s largest deal to date in 2013 and will be the largest ever aircraft order from a European airline, according to Ryanair.
Conner said: "This purchase agreement is an amazing testament to the value that the next generation 737 brings to Ryanair. We are pleased that the next generation 737, as the most efficient, most reliable large single-aisle airplane flying today, has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the Ryanair fleet
“Our 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."
The announcement follows news earlier this week that Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air was taking 234 of the A320 family of aircraft made by European plane-maker Airbus.
French President Francois Hollande said the contract, worth around £15.8bn, would secure 5,000 jobs over 10 years.