At the start of this month, Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair announced it has invited proposals from both its sole vendor till date, Boeing, and competitor Airbus for 200 to 300 new single-aisle aircraft in the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 category, for delivery between 2012 and 2017.
I had a chance to interact with senior Airbus executives during the recently concluded Aero India show in Bangalore, about the RFP from Ryanair. I was told that Airbus had an “unpleasant history” with the carrier, and that they were least interested in pursuing any deal.
The angst of Airbus can be felt in the words of Airbus chief commercial officer John Leahy, “We don’t plan a sales campaign with Ryanair, which would be very expensive and very time consuming,”.
This despite production cutbacks recently announced at the European plane maker.
Ryanair has a known history of ordering extensive capacity at discount prices and then re-negotiating outstanding orders for even lower prices than originally agreed upon.
Going by statistic compiled by Aviation International News, since 1998, if we count the order announcements between Boeing and Ryanair it adds up to almost 540, whereas in reality, Ryanair has placed firm orders for 338 airplanes.
Its now over to Boeing.