Ryanair, which reported a 85 per cent dip in profits for the first quarter of this fiscal and has also hinted that it may report its first yearly loss since 1989, confirmed yesterday that its next plane order may possibly be for up to 400 aircraft. The Dublin, Ireland-headquartered, carrier has been in talks with both Boeing and Airbus for some months.
Group chief executive, Michael O'Leary, said in an interview with the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that such an order would be geared for deliveries starting 2013, once the carrier's current order book expires. "New aircraft are about half as expensive as they were a few years ago", as a result of a weak US currency, O'Leary said.
So far, Ryanair has remained a Boeing customer. But O'Leary said: "It is also manageable for us to give the order to Airbus."
Ryanair, is Europe's largest low cost carrier and operates a fleet of 166 planes. The fleet is set to grow to 195 by March 2009 and 265 by March 2012 through a fleet replacement programme.
According to industry analysts, Ryanair replaces planes every eight years.