Ryanair has warned pilots of possible base closures and job cuts as the date for delivery of its first 10 Boeing 737 MAX jets slipped into the autumn.
In a memo dated Jan. 27 and seen by Reuters, the low-cost airline said that Boeing would not deliver the first of the grounded model until September or October at the earliest. Ryanair does not take deliveries during its peak summer months of June, July and August.
Ryanair had hoped to have up to 10 of the 737 MAX jets available from June and said in the memo that elimination of 10 aircraft from its roster could result in job losses for pilots and cabin crew, as well as possible base closures.
“I have asked our commercial team to work up their proposals for these 10 aircraft reductions in summer 2020, and I hope to have their final recommendations over the next week,” Chief Executive Eddie Wilson said in the memo.
“We will do our best to avoid any more base closures, but this will mean eliminating at least 10 aircraft from existing bases, and so further pilot and cabin crew jobs losses cannot be ruled out.”
The 737 MAX, Boeing’s fastest-selling aircraft, was grounded last March after 346 people died in two crashes attributed to anti-stall software.
Ryanair has a fleet of more than 450 aircraft and is one of the biggest MAX customers, with 210 on order.
The carrier’s marketing chief Kenny Jacobs this month said he hoped the 10 aircraft would be delivered in March or April, though the timing would be dependent on regulators.
Asked for comment, Ryanair told Reuters it had “nothing further to add to the memo”.
Boeing last week said that it did not expect to win approval for the 737 MAX’s return to service until the middle of the year, having previously given an estimate of March or April.