Ryanair hopes to power one in every eight flights using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and cut its carbon dioxide emissions per pax/km by 10% to 60 grams by the end of the decade.
As part of its carbon strategy, the Irish low cost carrier has also struck a deal to retro-fit scimitar winglets on its 409 B737-800NG fleet – an investment which the airline values at over $200m and which will further reduce fuel burn by 1.5%.
Ryanair reported a strong half-year post-tax profit of €1.37bn, compared to a pre-Covid first half profit of €1.15bn two years ago, due to record second quarter traffic, strong operational reliability and robust summer fares which were 14% up on pre-Covid pricing.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said the airline is continuing to invest heavily in fuel efficient, environmentally friendly new aircraft technology and that during 2022 Ryanair operated 73 new B737 “Gamechanger” aircraft, which deliver 4% more seats per flight yet burn 16% less fuel and cut noise emissions by up to 40%.
“Our growth is being hampered by Boeing’s inability to meet its delivery schedule in the third quarter,” he said, “despite their previous assurances that Ryanair deliveries would be “prioritised”.
He said the airline had been warned that Boeing will only deliver 10 or 12 of the contracted 21 Gamechangers due before Christmas. “Boeing assure us that they will deliver all scheduled 51 Gamechangers ahead of peak 2023 season, although there is a risk that some of these deliveries could slip,” he said, adding “We are planning growth in 2024 based on 51 extra aircraft for the peak 2023 season and we continue to recruit and train substantial numbers of pilots, cabin crew and engineers.”
“We continue to invest to accelerate the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” he added. “Our partnership with Trinity College’s Sustainable Aviation Research Centre is now in its second year and its activity has ramped up significantly. Building on the recent success of our partnership with Neste to power up to one third of our Schiphol flights with a 40% SAF blend, we signed a long-term deal with OMV in September to purchase up to 160,000 tonnes of SAF at Ryanair airports across Austria, Germany and CEE.”