Ryanair and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) signed (21-Jun-2011) an MoU to participate in discussions on the development of the COMAC C919 aircraft for Ryanair, which would be designed to carry up to 200 passengers and should be available from 2018 onwards. Ryanair will share its experience and expertise to assist COMAC to develop the new C919 commercial aircraft. The carrier stated a 200-seat C919 would enable Ryanair to lower costs and continue to lower fares for its passengers across Europe. Ryanair will have a fleet of more than 300 Boeing aircraft by 2013, and remain in discussions with both Boeing and COMAC for a replacement aircraft order of at least 200 aircraft. Ryanair stated it can become a two aircraft operator carrier, as long as the economies achieved by its B737-800 fleet can be matched or lowered by a similar sized order from a different manufacturer. The carrier said the MoU will not affect its long standing relationship with Boeing. [more]
Ryanair: "We are pleased that there is now a real alternative to Boeing and Airbus, and we are seriously interested in the development of a 200-seat variant of the C919 aircraft, and we look forward to its introduction into commercial service from 2018 onwards," Michael O'Leary, CEO. Source: Ryanair, 21-Jun-2011.