IRISH carrier Ryanair today announced a deal with US plane maker Boeing for 175 737-800s worth $15.6bn.
The carrier, the second biggest by passenger numbers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA), said when the deal is finalised it will allow it to grow traffic to more than 100m passengers a year and create more than 3,000 jobs across the airline.
It will increase Ryanair’s fleet to 400 aircraft and will be a blow to rival manufacturer Airbus, which employs 6,000 staff at its Broughton wing-making plant near Chester.
The deal is Ryanair’s biggest and the biggest by any European airline.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said today: “These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower cost and airfares even further, thereby widening Ryanair’s cost and price leadership over other airlines in Europe.
“They provide Ryanair with the additional capacity to exploit substantial growth opportunities that currently exist as many of Europe’s flag carrier and smaller airlines are restructuring and reducing their short-haul operations.”
Last November Mr O’Leary pledged to grow Ryanair’s presence and services at Liverpool to fill the gap left by rival Easyjet which had reduced capacity at LJLA, while at the same time increasing its presence at Manchester Airport.