Ireland's Ryanair to buy 175 Boeing next-generation 737s for $15.6 bn

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair today said that it would buy 175 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes for $15.6 billion at list prices, a day after EasyJet announced a sizable order for 135 Airbus single-aisle A320 passenger planes (British budget airline EasyJet to buy 135 Airbus planes for $11.9 bn ).

The order, originally announced as a commitment in March, is Boeing's largest ever aircraft order from a European airline.

At the 2013 Paris Air Show, Michael O'Leary, president and CEO of Ryanair, joined Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, to finalise the deal.

"Ryanair is proud to buy Boeing, who make great aircraft, and the 737-800 has been the foundation of Ryanair's recent successful growth due to its great engineering and phenomenal reliability," said O'Leary.

"These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower costs and airfares even further. They provide Ryanair with the additional capacity to exploit substantial growth opportunities that now exist as many of Europe's flag and regional airlines are restructuring and are reducing their short-haul operations."

"We are delighted to finalise this order. It is a testament to the value the Next-Generation 737 family brings to Ryanair," said Conner.  "As the most efficient, reliable, large single-aisle airplane flying today, the Next-Generation 737 has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the Ryanair fleet."

The Boeing 737-800 is the best-selling version of the successful Next-Generation 737 family. The Next-Generation 737-800 is selected by leading carriers because it is fuel efficient and provides operators the flexibility to serve a wide range of markets.

Dublin-based Ryanair, which took delivery of its first 737-800 from Boeing in 1999, has the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in Europe, operating over 1,600 flights per day from 57 bases on 1,600 routes across 29 countries, connecting more than 180 destinations.

With today proposed purchase, the total number of 737s ordered to date are more than 11,000. Boeing currently has more than 3,400 unfilled orders for 737s.

The Next-Generation 737-800 is Boeing's rival to the Airbus A320neo, a new version of the European company's best-selling model.