Ryanair hiring thousands as it snaps up jets
Ryanair is planning to hire thousands of new workers after placing a huge $22bn (€17bn) order with Boeing for up to 200 jets.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the massive order will also herald a fares war throughout Europe as Ryanair vies to increase the number of passengers it carries every year from 81 million to 150 million.
Mr O'Leary called the order for the new breed of 737 aircraft, known as the 'Max', a "game-changer" for both Ryanair and the industry. It will increase Ryanair's fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024.
"I hope it will hasten in an era of a new price war in Europe over the next 10 years, which, like all the old price wars, Ryanair will win," insisted the airline chief in New York.
Fliers will benefit from more leg room on the new aircraft as well as a more spacious interior cabin. Overhead luggage compartments on the new 737 Max 200 are recessed into the ceiling, giving a more expansive feel to the interior.
Mr O'Leary said the extra leg room will be welcomed by passengers, who've long grown accustomed to bumping their knees off the seat in front of them.
Eight extra seats will generate about €1m of additional revenue per plane per year.
While most of the new aircraft will be used to grow Ryanair's business within Europe, Mr O'Leary said it also puts more of north Africa within its reach, as well as more far flung destinations such as Lebanon, Israel and even the Gulf states.
The order comes on top of an order last year by Ryanair for 180 Boeing aircraft. Mr O'Leary and other executives travelled to Seattle yesterday to receive the first aircraft to be delivered under that order.