Ryanair Holdings Plc agreed to buy five more Boeing Co. 737-800s, boosting Europe’s biggest discount carrier’s order book to 180 jets as it seeks to increase passenger numbers to 110 million people by 2019.
The deal brings the total value of Ryanair orders to more than $16 billion at current list prices, the Dublin-based airline said in a statement today. Ryanair will take delivery of 21 jets, up from 17, between this September and July 2015. The purchase involves five production slots that became available.
The Irish carrier concluded a deal for 175 current-model 737-800s at the Paris Air Show in June and Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary has said he is also evaluating the 737 Max model. Ryanair is pursuing new television commercials and a website overhaul in a push to tame its no-frills image and draw previously untapped customer groups such as business passengers and older travelers.
“These new Boeing aircraft enable Ryanair to keep the fleet average age below 5 years,” O’Leary said today. With 21 planes to be delivered by summer 2015, the carrier “will offer more new routes and creased frequencies,” he said.
Ryanair and discount rival EasyJet Plc are looking to expand their networks as former flag carriers undertake the latest revamps of their short-haul units. British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA ordered new planes for its low-cost Spanish unit Vueling last year.
Ryanair is the largest 737-800 customer in the world, Ray Conner, president and CEO of commercial airplanes for the Chicago-based manufacturer, said in the statement.