Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary may be one of the biggest 737 operators, but he's still not warming to Boeing's latest version of the narrowbody.
While he has "been impressed with the Airbus NEO and the fuel savings" it promises to deliver, that is not the case with the 737 MAX. Not only does he say he is "unimpressed" with the offering, O'Leary argues the fuel savings are inferior.
What is more, he worries that the weight penalty the 737 suffers to strengthen the aircraft to accept the CFM International Leap-1B engines means that any savings associated with lower fuel burn will be offset by higher landing charges associated with a heavier aircraft.
In the past year, O'Leary has also been talking up the Comac C919, but in the third quarter earnings call he has been a bit more muted. All along, Ryanair has noted the basic C919 is too small for its need and has been urging the manufacturer to pursue a slightly larger version. This time O'Leary simply says he's looking for the new entrant to bring more dynamism to the competitive landscape.
As to placing an order, O'Leary plays down expectations that will happen. He sees prices at an all-time high and argues that "anybody ordering aircraft is nuts."