Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has promised passengers "over 30 inches" of leg room and new ‘slimline’ seats as the airline steps up plans to attract more business travellers.
O’Leary’s pledge came as Ryanair signed a $22 billion agreement with Boeing for 100 737 Max 200 aircraft with the option of 100 more.
The new aircraft will feature 197 seats – eight more than the existing 189 seat fleet. According to BBT sister site Seat Plans, Ryanair's current seat pitch is 29.9 inches.
“These new aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience with more leg room and the Boeing Sky Interior, as we roll out new offers particularly for our Business Plus customers,” said O’Leary.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner, who signed the deal this morning in New York, said the new aircraft is a perfect fit for Ryanair with increased revenues and a “high level of passenger comfort”.
“The new variant will play a significant role in enabling the airline to continue to expand its operations, while providing passengers across Europe with outstanding value,” Conner added.
The Boeing will also feature Boeing “sky interior” and new engines that Ryanair claims will reduce fuel consumption by up to 18 per cent and reduce operational noise emissions by 40 per cent.
The order comes a week after Ryanair launched its latest initiative to attract more business travellers – ‘Ryanair Business Plus’.
The business package will offer travellers “a tailored suite of travel benefits” which includes flexible tickets, more check-in baggage, priority boarding and "premium" seats.
The order will see Ryanair’s fleet grow from 304 to 420 and traffic is expected to rise from 82 million last year to 150 million by 2024.