Ryanair has ordered 75 more Boeing 737 Max planes as the aircraft - which was grounded following its involvement in two deadly crashes - returns to service in Europe.
The Dublin-based airline's deal throws a lifeline to the embattled US company which was forced to ground all its 737 Max planes around the world over concerns about mechanical and design problems in the wake of the accidents.
Boeing now has 210 firm orders for the aircraft which are scheduled to be delivered between spring 2021 and December 2024.
The planes' return to service was certified by US regulator the Federal Aviation Administration last month.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said: “The board and people of Ryanair are confident that our customers will love these new aircraft.
“They will enjoy the new interiors, the more generous leg room, the lower fuel consumption and the quieter noise performance, but most of all, they will love the lower fares, which these aircraft will enable Ryanair to offer not just in 2021, but for the next decade, as Ryanair leads a strong recovery of Europe’s aviation and tourism industry out of the 2020 Covid-19 crisis.”
He added: “We are working closely with Boeing and our senior pilot professionals to assist our regulator Easa (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) to certify these aircraft in Europe, and to complete the training of our pilots and crews across our three new Boeing Max simulators in Dublin and Stansted.”
Boeing president and chief executive Dave Calhoun said: “Boeing remains focused on safely returning the full 737 fleet to service and on delivering the backlog of airplanes to Ryanair and our other customers in the New Year.
“We firmly believe in this airplane and we will continue the work to re-earn the trust of all of our customers.”
The 737 Max was grounded by airlines in March 2019 after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet, which happened less than five months after another Max flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea.
Boeing was heavily criticised for rushing to implement a new software system that put profits over safety and ultimately led to the dismissal of its chief executive.