Will lost Ryanair Maintenance Spending Return?

Credit: Ryanair

Ryanair has taken an axe to most of its expenses this year, including maintenance, which is likely to affect the numerous external providers it uses, notwithstanding the work it performs internally at facilities such as Glasgow, Kaunas, and Wroclaw.

At the start of its financial year, in April, Ryanair, stated that it expected “to be dependent on external service contractors for Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 maintenance, particularly for engine and component maintenance, for the foreseeable future”.

By September 30 the airline had reported a 40% reduction in maintenance costs for the first half of the year. It also noted that it had agreed “better terms” with its maintenance providers and reduced costs further by insourcing more work.

And while some of the work not performed this year will probably be backloaded into next, the above restructuring of Ryanair’s maintenance work may see a chunk of its value to the aftermarket evaporate completely.

Work that would have been performed if not for the crisis may also be displaced by incoming Boeing 737 Max 8-200 aircraft, for which Ryanair added another 75 orders last week, taking its total backlog for the type to 210 units.

Ryanair hopes to take 50 Max 8s next year, which will raise questions about how many of its older, more maintenance-hungry 737NGs will return to service.

“For as long as the Covid-19 pandemic depresses air travel, we will use these new aircraft to replace some of our older Boeing NG fleet, which will remain grounded until pre-Covid demand returns,” stated Ryanair group CEO Michael O’Leary.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.