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Gloucestershire Business News

Ryanair confirms £31bn aircraft deal with Boeing

Ryanair has agreed a £31bn deal with aircraft maker Boeing that will see it purchase up to 300 planes in the next ten years.

And the news is a welcome development for Gloucester's aviation business as the home of flight specialists Ontic.

Ryanair will be buying a new fleet of 737-MAX-10's with half of its order described as 'firm' and the balance being options. Phased delivery will begin in 2027 and extend to 2033, with half of the new Boeings replacing older aircraft as Ryanair seeks to become more efficient and reduce its emissions.

The 737-MAX 10s offer 228 seats and will be crucial for Ryanair meeting a forecast traffic growth of 80% (300m passengers) a year by 2034.

Michael Leary, chief executive, said: "These new, fuel efficient, greener technology aircraft offer 21% more seats, burn 20% less fuel and are 50% quieter than our B737-NGs".

He added that 10,000 new high-paid jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers would follow from the move.

Boeing said the order enabled both companies to succeed and expanded affordable travel for the public.

The news comes as a welcome development for globally trusted aerospace partner Ontic, which has two sites employing 450 staff in Gloucestershire at Bishop's Cleeve and Staverton, with a total workforce of 1,100 people. The aviation tech firm enjoys a turnover of £450m.

Ontic signed a global distribution deal  with Boeing last month and, speaking with Punchline editor Mark Owen on the latest Business Breakfast Briefers podcast, Matthew Pritchard, director of customer engagement at Ontic, said the meeting of pent-up demand for new aircraft was "a huge endeavour".

Mr Pritchard said: "Seventy percent of the value of an airliner is externally sourced in the supply chain."

Against this backdrop, he said, "travel is bouncing back. China is opening up and people more than ever are desperate to go on holiday."

With demand in aircraft manufacturing growing "almost exponentially", many airlines' plans to retire and repurpose existing stock have been put on hold due to the issue of supply chain delays. As a consequence, he added: "plane companies are taking delivery and flying passengers the next day".

"When production bounces back, airlines such as Boeing should be producing 1,000 1200 airliners a year, that's six or seven airliners rolling of production lines anywhere in the world, in one day – it's a huge endeavour."

Ontic also serves more than 20,000 defence, commercial, and BA/GA customers who have 24-hour access to parts and supplies via its online shop.

A company statement on the Boeing deal said: "At Ontic, we recognize the importance of quality, part availability and reduced lead times. We are confident that our partnership with Boeing will help us improve the customer experience, while we continue to focus on investing in ongoing sustainment and the seamless integration of our recent Triumph acquisition in Staverton, where these product lines are expertly managed."

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