03 March 2011

Ryanair - Looking At All Options

Ryanair is not letting the moss grow under its feet. Having been spurned by Boeing while it ponders what to do with its aging 737 - clearly Airbus is not biting yet either with the A320NEO; so what other options does the spunky Irish LCC have at its disposal?

Well the answer is several.

At the moment there is no need for either of the two big boys to play the Two Michaels game. With Fuel Prices at nearing historical heights due to the conflicts in the Middle East Region - there are many others looking to cut deals to meet Ryanair's demands for a low cost aircraft. Remember that Ryanair is still shopping a 300 plane order. Probably the largest order for jet aircraft ever. As I wrote in January this is a story that will run for a bit.

So now the Michael Crawley (Ryanair #2 man) has hinted at the Russians or the Chinese as options. The Bombardier or the Embraer aircraft are likely to be a bit too small for the pack 'em in crowd.

So I have a suggestion - and I am prepared to throw my hat into the ring with another idea.

Re-engining Low Time MD80/90s and B717s with a GTF engine. There is a huge number of these aircraft. The total cost of this process would be about half of the new aircraft in small numbers - in volume the savings could rise to about 60% or more for a fuel load penalty of perhaps 10 - 5% over the existing 737NGs. Another factor in its favour is that they come in varying size which would enable FR to serve additional smaller markets. I thought about 737 Classics and NGs but the cost to re-engine these machines while attractive requires the addition of fixing the undercarriage which has so far stumped some of the best minds.

Just a thought.


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