The worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has resulted in Irish low-cost airline Ryanair being forced to reduce the number of summer flights it operates next year.
According to BBC.com, Ryanair officials are making the adjustments after it was reported the 737 MAX could be out of commission through the end of 2019 as aviation authorities work to clear the planes for service once again.
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Ryanair is still awaiting the delivery of 58 of the impacted 737 MAX aircraft before next summer, but the carrier now only expects to receive about half of that order. In addition, the reduced scheduled could result in base closures and job cuts at airports.
“We are starting a series of discussions with our airports to determine which of Ryanair’s underperforming or loss-making bases should suffer these short-term cuts and/or closures from November 2019,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement.
As a result of the MAX groundings and the possible closures, Ryanair updated its outlook to an expected 157 million passengers flown through March 2021, which is down around five million customers.
As a result, the carrier is shifting its remaining planes to the most profitable routes to minimize the impact of the MAX grounding. From a long-term perspective, aviation experts said the ongoing issues with Boeing could have an adverse effect on the airline’s growth plans.