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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Euronext Paris  >  Airbus SE    AIR   NL0000235190

AIRBUS SE

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Ryanair buys 75 Boeing MAX jets in largest order since grounding

12/03/2020 | 10:33pm EST
Ryanair sign is seen at the check-in area at Gatwick Airport, in Gatwick

SEATTLE/DUBLIN (Reuters) - Budget airline Ryanair on Thursday ordered 75 Boeing 737 MAX jets with a list price of $9 billion, throwing a commercial lifeline to the embattled U.S. planemaker after regulators lifted a 20-month safety ban.

The order from the Irish airline, Europe's biggest low-cost carrier and one of Boeing's most important customers, is the largest for the jet since 2018 before two fatal crashes led to a 20-month global flight ban.

Boeing shares were up 6% on the news, first reported by Reuters on Wednesday.

"I've always had faith that the order book would begin to fill with the return of the industry," Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun said at a signing ceremony in Washington.

As regulators move to clear the aircraft for flight after revisions to cockpit software and pilot training, Boeing is hoping for more eye-catching MAX orders, sources have said.

"It's certainly the deal of the new century," Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary told Reuters later.

Ryanair did not disclose the price it will pay, but traders say deals typically include discounts in excess of 50% of list prices.

Ryanair was expected to win an even bigger discount of well over two-thirds in return for a headline-grabbing relaunch of the MAX that helps fill gaps left by cancellations, sources said.

Part of the discount was compensation for the 18-month delay to the first delivery of the MAX, O'Leary said.

Asked during the signing ceremony about price concessions Boeing offered, O'Leary joked: "Not enough ... I am sorry to say it is a very modest discount."

Even at a fraction of the MAX's list price of $125 million, the deal could help to stem a haemorrhage in cash caused by a stockpile of roughly 450 undelivered MAX jets being stored by Boeing.

Ryanair already has 135 of the 197-seat MAX 200 on order, and expects to receive its first jet early next year and the final one by the end of 2024. Ryanair also hopes to agree to another large order of the 737 MAX over the next 18 months, and expects to be flying the 230-seat MAX 10 by 2025, O'Leary told Reuters.

"I think regulators are looking for some further design work to be done so I think the delivery of the MAX 10 is going to slip back maybe 12-18 months," he said.

PIVOTAL MOMENT

The order could be a pivotal moment in efforts by Boeing to rehabilitate the MAX, its fastest-selling model before it was grounded in March 2019 following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in which 346 people died.

The jet staged its first post-grounding flight with media on board on Wednesday, weeks before the first commercial passenger flight on Dec. 29.

Boeing is also negotiating with airlines including Southwest and Delta and Alaska Airlines, which last month agreed to lease 13 Boeing MAX jets, industry sources have said.

Ryanair has a record of striking deals to lock in low costs when its bargaining power is highest, most famously by placing an order for 100 new 737s at rock-bottom prices in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

That deal laid the foundation for its transformation into one of Europe's dominant airlines.

Sharp discounts could allow Ryanair to sharpen competition with other European budget carriers like easyJet and Wizz Air for the lowest fleet costs, a key driver for the ability to slash fares.

"No one will be able to compete with us with these aircraft," O'Leary said.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin, Eric M Johnson in Seattle, Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

By Eric M. Johnson and Conor Humphries


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIRBUS SE 0.12% 91.3 Real-time Quote.1.57%
EASYJET PLC 3.58% 845.2 Delayed Quote.-1.69%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC 1.80% 15.575 Real-time Quote.-5.88%
THE BOEING COMPANY 3.13% 210.71 Delayed Quote.-4.55%
WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC 3.34% 4450 Delayed Quote.-5.65%
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Sales 2020 46 911 M 56 874 M 56 874 M
Net income 2020 -1 494 M -1 812 M -1 812 M
Net cash 2020 1 264 M 1 532 M 1 532 M
P/E ratio 2020 -50,9x
Yield 2020 0,03%
Capitalization 71 511 M 86 680 M 86 698 M
EV / Sales 2020 1,50x
EV / Sales 2021 1,33x
Nbr of Employees 134 071
Free-Float 74,1%
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Guillaume Faury Chief Executive Officer
René Richard Obermann Chairman
Michael Schöllhorn Chief Operating Officer
Dominik Asam Chief Financial Officer
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