RyanAir commissioned a special version of the 737MAX 8 that’s officially labelled the 737-8-200.
The version has an extra set of emergency exit doors behind the wing, allowing for seating up to 210. However RyanAir have said they’re unlikely to go above 199 as 200+ requires an additional member of the cabin crew, and the revenue from ticket sales won’t make that viable.
The final configuration is said to be 197 seats with 5 of 8 galley trollies removed to make space, in conjunction with super-thin seating. In addition the toilets have been moved right to the back. It adds just 9 seats in total as 6 were lost for the additional doors.
Some galley space is retained as RyanAir make a lot of money from selling food and drink on board. Fully removed it could push seating up to 200.
Boeing claim it’s 5% more economical than a standard 737-8, based on passenger seat cost per kilometre flown.
However despite having already produced several and parked them up, the FAA and EASA say they will now require separate approvals from the standard 737-8 and the earliest this is likely to be achieved is May 2020.
RyanAir expected to have 58 in service by the summer peak (June-August) and will now be lucky if they have 10.
This is going to affect the airlines growth and projected income for the year, so expect more moans and groans from the likes of O’Leary and others.