Michael O’Leary, CEO of RyanAir.
Anjali Sundaram | CNBC
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary on Monday warned that the prolonged grounding of the Boeing 737 Max could lead to job cuts and other challenges for the low-cost airline.
Airlines including European budget carrier Ryanair are grappling with lost revenue since the fuel-efficient Boeing jetliners were grounded in mid-March following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.
Boeing has paused deliveries of the jets, meaning airlines like European budget carrier Ryanair, cannot grow their operations as previously anticipated. Regulators have not said when they will allow the planes to fly again. Ryanair executives expected 58 of the planes for the summer of 2020, O’Leary said on an earnings call.
Ryanair isn’t the only airline concerned about the grounding, now in its fifth month, spilling into next year. Southwest Airlines, which operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet, last week said it planned to take its new Max planes out of its schedule until early January.
O’Leary said Ryanair expected to have 58 of the Max planes in its fleet next summer.
“It may well move to 20, it could move to 10, and it could well move to zero if Boeing don’t get their s— together pretty quickly with the regulator,” O’Leary said.
Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.