Ryanair is set to cut a number of flights over winter and next summer as a result of ongoing issues with the Boeing 737 Max.
Regulators grounded the 737 Max model after two crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia in March, killing 346 people. Boeing says it could be as late as December before they are cleared to fly again and that has delayed the delivery of aircraft to airlines.
Ryanair is awaiting delivery of 58 737 Max aircraft in time for next summer, but is now expecting to receive just half of those. The airline says it has no choice but to cut the number of flights it operates, and now expects to serve five million fewer customers in the year to March 2020.
In a statement, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, said: “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.”
Ryanair isn’t the first airline to cut flights as a direct result of the issues. Earlier this week, American Airlines announced a fourth set of cancellations, equivalent to 115 a day.
However, it was confident a resolution would be found. The airline said: “American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 Max, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year.”
The difficulties haven’t prevented airlines from placing new orders of the aircraft either. At the Paris airshow in June, British Airways owner, IAG, ordered 200 of the model but referred to it as a “B737 aircraft” rather than “737 Max”.