Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has expressed his lack of confidence in Boeing's 737 Max. He described the re-engineered narrow body as a "dog's dinner of a design" that had been drawn "on the back of a fag packet as a response to the [Airbus] Neo".
Although Ryanair is having talks with the air framer about future orders of either the current generation 737-800s or Max, Michael O'Leary complained, "Boeing can't tell you what the Max looks like or what the fuel saving is".
Another issue is the carrier's concept for a standing-only area on its flights. This will increase capacity to 230 passengers from 189 on an all-seated aircraft, which will necessitate the removal of the final six rows of seats in the 737 and the rear lavatories. Michael O'Leary stated that Ryanair wants Boeing to fix this issue before the company places any new orders.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has approached an unnamed aviation regulator with the intention of trialling standing-area flights, but has received "no positive response".
Ryanair is still considering ordering the Comac C919, a family of 168-190 seat narrow-body airliners that will be build by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac). Ryanair’s design team is currently working with Comac to design a 200-seat variant of the baseline 174-seat aircraft. This aircraft will be completed in 2018-19.
Michael O'Leary also criticized the UK government for its lack of a solid and clear policy in the aviation sector. He said this was hurting UK’s competitiveness, as evidenced by the 20% decrease in UK passenger numbers since the Airline Passenger Duty was introduced about 5 years ago. Michael O'Leary also urged the government to add extra runways at London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, instead of constructing a new airport.