* Ryanair is a major Boeing customer
* No progress on a possible MAX 10 deal (adds comment from Boeing)
By Conor Humphries
DUBLIN, July 25 (Reuters) – Ryanair said on Monday Boeing had warned it of possible delays to 21,737 MAX aircraft due for delivery before the end of the year and also expressed concern over the certification of the new plane MAX 10.
Boeing remains a “major area of concern” for Ryanair, one of the US aerospace giant’s biggest customers, group chief executive Michael O’Leary told investors on a call after the release of quarterly results. .
Asked about O’Leary’s comments, a Boeing spokesman said he appreciated his partnership with Ryanair and was committed to supporting the Irish airline.
O’Leary said he was confident Boeing would deliver the expected 50 737 MAX planes by next summer, but he was concerned about a possible repeat of delays this year that would force him to take deliveries during its busy summer season.
“Over the past two weeks, we’ve been getting letters from Boeing telling us there may be issues with 21 planes this side of Christmas,” O’Leary told investors on a conference call.
A delay would be “inexplicable and unacceptable”, he added.
O’Leary said he had been assured Ryanair deliveries would be given priority this winter.
“Seattle management…needs to stick their finger out,” O’Leary said, reiterating a call for a change in leadership at Boeing’s operations in Seattle.
O’Leary said it was still interested in a large order for the MAX 10 – the largest member of its family of best-selling single-aisle jets – but that Boeing had yet to offer sufficiently attractive prices.
“We hope they eventually get there,” he said.
Last year, Ryanair backed out of negotiations with Boeing for 200 MAX 10s.
The MAX 10 programme, which has yet to be certified, received a boost at Britain’s Farnborough Airshow last week with Delta Air Lines ordering 100 and Qatar Airways 25.
O’Leary said he was concerned about certification delays and the possibility that the cockpit would need to be redesigned.
Boeing faces a December deadline to get approval for the 737 MAX 10 or else it must meet new cockpit alerting requirements under a 2020 law unless waived by Congress.
(Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Susan Fenton)