Boeing Lands Critical Order For 75 More 737 MAX Jets From Ryanair

Boeing shares popped Thursday morning as the first new orders for the newly refurbished 737 MAX 8 (this time with zero software flaws that could literally drive the plane into the ground nose-first) hits the tape, with Ryanair (RYAAY) putting in a big order as expected.

In a major sign of confidence in the product, Ryanair has ordered 75 more Boeing 737 Max 8s in anticipation of its return to service in Europe (for context: the basic models go for roughly $120MM apiece).

The Dublin-based airline announced the deal - which brings its total to 210 orders for the Boeing aircraft to be delivered between spring 2021 and December 2024 - on Thursday.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Source: Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg, all of Ryanair's planes are the -200 higher capacity variants, which will allow the airline to pack more passengers onto planes while simultaneously lowering fuel burn to be more efficient and "eco-friendly". Ryanair and Boeing also agreed to revise delivery dates for the MAX following its idling, together with compensation to cover direct costs incurred. Some of that money was factored in as a "modest reduction" in the final pricing of the new aircraft.

While investors celebrate, let's remember that Boeing has lost hundreds of orders for the MAX this year thanks to the plane's troubles along with COVID's impact on the airline industry. This means Boeing has ceded more ground to Airbus, its European archrival, and enabled Airbus to widen its lead in the critical market for narrow-body jets.

Boeing is still seeking new homes for about 100 so-called "white tails" - jets built after the grounding and later abandoned by buyers, who were allowed to walk away from the delivery if it was delayed by more than a year.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said the board is confident that customers will "love" the new planes.

"They will enjoy the new interiors, the more generous leg room, the lower fuel consumption, and the quieter noise performance, but most of all, they will love the lower fares, which these aircraft will enable Ryanair to offer not just in 2021, but for the next decade, as Ryanair leads a strong recovery of Europe's aviation and tourism industry out of the 2020 Covid-19 crisis."

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