Boeing announces major deal with European airline Ryanair

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Ryanair announced on Tuesday morning that Europe’s leading low-cost airline has selected the largest 737 MAX 10 model to help build out its fleet.

The massive order is for potentially 300 airplanes. The purchase is the biggest in Ryanair’s history.

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, is not shy with his opinions or feelings. During the media conference Tuesday morning announcing the sale, the head of Ryanair referenced earlier negotiations and called out Boeing, saying his airline deserved a discount on its orders. The deal that could have come together a year ago did not when Boeing didn’t agree that O’Leary’s airline deserved a discount.

All that acrimony seems to have been put aside, with Boeing announcing that Ryanair ultimately has placed the order for Boeing’s top-selling aircraft. The deal was signed Tuesday morning, and O’Leary said that they only started negotiating the new deal a month or so ago, so the multibillion-dollar deal came together fast.

O’Leary — who has proven to be colorful when addressing the media — held to his reputation. Cracking jokes throughout the presentation alongside Boeing execs, he half-joked about his request for a discount and hammered away at Boeing for the sticker price on his new fleet.

“I’d like to say that these are the cheapest aircraft we’ve ordered, but unfortunately they’re not,” said O’Leary.

The CEO admitted that prior negotiations did not bear fruit for Boeing or Ryanair.

“We had a bit of a bust-up a year ago over pricing and we’ve had to move somewhat to get this deal done today,” said O’Leary.

O’Leary clearly had a change of heart and ultimately agreed to the sale with Boeing.

“There is a $40 billion list price, I have been told to say there was a competitive discount agreed, although I didn’t think it was particularly competitive — we got screwed by (Dave) Calhoun again,” said O’Leary.

O’Leary did make it clear that he believes the deal will set his airline up for a competitive edge and will create jobs.

“Ryanair is pleased to sign this record aircraft order for up to 300 MAX 10s with our aircraft partner, Boeing. These new, fuel-efficient, greener technology aircraft offer 21% more seats, burn 20% less fuel, and are 50% quieter than our B737-NGs,” he said.

Boeing executive Dave Calhoun did not seem to be offended by O’Leary’s assertion that Boeing “screwed” Ryanair. Instead, he praised the mammoth deal.

“The Boeing-Ryanair partnership is one of the most productive in commercial aviation history, enabling both companies to succeed and expand affordable travel to hundreds of millions of people… Nearly a quarter-century after our companies signed our first direct airplane purchase, this landmark deal will further strengthen our partnership. We are committed to delivering for Ryanair and helping the airline group achieve its goals,” said Calhoun.

The new order will be posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalized.