Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) has offered to take any B737 MAX that United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) may delay or cancel after the US carrier criticised Boeing last week, Ryanair Holdings Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said during the group's quarterly earnings call.

"Airbus are out trying to buy back some of the delivery slots from some of their A320s from the lessors and some of their customers offensively to provide aircraft to United in the States. So, I hope they are very successful, and I hope therefore as a result, we could walk away with a load of B737-10s because we will be the first ones out there looking for additional MAX 10 for delivery in 2026 to 2027, if we could get them," he underscored.

He added that United’s comments were not helpful and that he had confidence in Boeing’s CEO, David Calhoun and his team in their ability to turn around the US manufacturer, especially after seeing an improvement in quality in the last 12 aircraft deliveries, which took place in December 2023. The comments come days after the US carrier criticised Boeing last week and was reported to be in talks with Airbus for an A321-200N order.

Earlier this month, Boeing was involved in another safety nightmare when an Alaska Airlines B737-9 suffered an in-flight door blowout which then led to the type’s brief grounding. As one of the consequences of this incident, Boeing withdrew its request for a key safety exemption to speed up the certification of the B737-7 type. United said that while it was not cancelling its order for 292 B737-10s - which also has yet to certify - it has removed the type from its internal planning.

Ryanair said that "while the recent MAX 9 grounding was a disappointing setback, we don’t expect it to affect the MAX 8 fleet or the MAX 10 certification".

Meanwhile, the ch-aviation fleets module shows Ryanair has orders for 219 aircraft, including 150 B737-10s and sixty-nine B737-8-200s. Its current fleet, across all of its AOCs, comprises 397 B737-800s, 141 B737-8-200s, one B737-700, and twenty-eight A320-200s.

"We expect to have up to 174 [B737-8-200s] in our fleet by late June for the peak Summer '24 (plus 50 from Summer '23), which would be seven short of our contracted deliveries. There remains a risk that some of these deliveries could slip further," the airline said in its quarterly report. O'Leary clarified that the ULCC expects to take deliveries of around 50 aircraft in 2024, down from the 57 projected initially.