Ryanair (FR/RYR) has warned that the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max will cause it to cut around 30,000 routes next year as well as culling some bases and closing others.
The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded following two fatal crashes of the type linked to its new systems and this will leave many airlines without new aircraft including Ryanair who has a large order over 200 of its specific Max variant, the Boeing 737-8200.
As a result of uncertainty over the delivery of its 737-8200 aircraft the airline says it will fly around 5 million fewer passengers in 2020 than predicted, dropping its growth prediction from 7% to 3%, as it expects delivery projections to slip further back.
In a statement, the airline said “This shortfall in aircraft deliveries will necessitate some base cuts and closures for summer 2020, but also for the winter 2019 schedule.
“We are starting a series of discussions with our airports to determine which of Ryanair’s underperforming or loss-making bases should suffer these short term cuts and/or closures from November 2019.”
There is no firm date yet for the Boeing 737 Max to be cleared to fly again and only last month, the FAA found another potential flaw in the aircraft’s software.
Ryanair’s Cheif Executive, Michael O’Leary said: “Boeing is hoping that a certification package will be submitted to regulators by September with a return to service shortly thereafter.” adding “We believe it would be prudent to plan for that date to slip by some months, possibly as late as December.”
“Ryanair expects that the Max 200 will be approved for flight services within two months of the Max return to service.”
The culling of bases is likely to be from smaller bases across Europe as opposed to its larger UK hubs and airports that see Ryanair flights but arent bases could see services withdrawn if they aren’t highly profitable.