Ryanair is in the early stages of talks with both Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) and China’s Comac regarding a possible order for either the MS-21 or the C919 jets. “They are very keen to work with Ryanair,” CEO Michael O’Leary says. “We haven’t got a firm offer on price and at the moment we don’t have certainty about when they will actually deliver the aircraft,” he cautions. “There is a long way from the lovely, shiny brochure to ‘there’s the aircraft over there.’”
O’Leary believes it would not be difficult to convince passengers to fly on Russian or Chinese aircraft. “Passengers want the aircraft to be safe, pretty new and that the flight is going on time.” The Ryanair CEO doubts that the MS-21 and the C919 can be delivered as planned, in 2017. “If the aircraft is not delivered until 2022, it does not matter what the pricing is. And everybody has missed all their deadlines, including Airbus and Boeing.”
O’Leary says Ryanair needs to place an aircraft order any time between now and 2015 if it wants to continue growing. He doesn’t want to resume talks with Boeing by himself, but says that Boeing has to come back to the table. Negotiations over a new order collapsed over terms, conditions and guarantees last year.