Dublin-headquartered Ryanair warned on Wednesday afternoon that it would have to cut its high season schedule and close at least two of its airport ‘bases’ as it was likely to receiving half of the expected delivery of 20 Boeing 737 MAX plans.
Problems with Boeing’s bestselling B737 MAX aircraft, which were all grounded earlier this year following two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, have hit most airlines around the world.
Ryanair downgraded its traffic expectations for the year to 31 March 2021 to 156mln passengers from the 157mln previously pencilled in.
Blaming the Boeing shortfall, the budget airline said it will close its summer bases in Nuremberg and Stockholm Skavsta.
“We also expect to cut summer capacity in a number of other existing bases,” the company said in a statement, adding that it was in talks with staff, unions and the affected airports to finalise the reductions.
Eddie Wilson, chief executive of Ryanair’s main airline business, stressed that the capacity cuts were “minor” and all the changes were “solely due to further delivery delays” to the MAX aircraft.
“We are continuing to work with Boeing, our people, our unions and our affected airports to minimise these capacity cuts and job losses,” he said.
Ryanair shares continued their recent rise, inching up to €13.79, after the news, while rival EasyJet Group PLC (LON:EZJ) jumped 3% to 1,350.16p and Jet2 airline owner Dart Group PLC (LON:DTG) rose 2% to 1,511p.