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Low-cost fare, low-cost aircraft?
June 22nd, 2011 by elisa

I like low-cost airlines, but I’m not sure if I’d be as keen on a low-cost jet. Ryanair, one of the kings of the low cost airlines has announced its intention to work with Commercial Air Corporation (COMAC) of China to build a 200 passenger capacity aircraft to rival the Boeing 737 currently widely used.

Ryanair said it was ‘seriously interested’ in the development of the C919, which should be available from 2018 onwards. The airline said it was discussing an order of ‘at least 200 aircraft’,  however the favourable agreement with COMAC does not committee Ryanair to buy any aircraft. However, cynics will view the announcement as a way for Ryanair to get a better deal out of Boeing, with whom it is also in negotiations for new aircraft.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said in a statement: “Ryanair can become a two aircraft operator carrier, as long as the economies achieved by our current Boeing 737-800 fleet can be matched or lowered by a similar sized order from a different manufacturer.

“While today’s announcement won’t affect our long standing relationship with Boeing, we look forward to working closely with COMAC to promote more competition among aircraft manufacturers, which can only be good for promoting competition between airlines and lowering the cost of air travel for consumers all across Europe towards the end of the decade.”

 


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