Ryanair CEO warns of lower growth if Boeing doesn't "get their s--- together"

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 aircraft approches
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Photo: Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline, reported a 21% drop in after-tax profits for the first quarter, blaming fierce price competition and higher fuel and staff costs. The airline also warned job cuts may be coming and future growth projections may be lowered because of issues with Boeing.

The state of play: Ryanair ordered 58 of Boeing's 737 MAX jets for summer 2020, but CEO Michael O'Leary said that order may change since all of the planes have been grounded following two fatal crashes: "It may well move to 20, it could move to 10, and it could well move to zero if Boeing don’t get their shit together pretty quickly with the regulator." The worldwide grounding of the MAX is now in its fifth month, and FAA regulators have yet to say when they will allow the plane to fly again.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Boeing 737 MAX airplane
Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Following 2 similar crashes of Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes that killed a total of 346 people, the aircraft have been grounded worldwide as a series of investigations look into what caused the crashes and any potential flaws that went unnoticed during the safety certification process.

Context: The FAA's approval process was designed to be seamless in that airlines that already flew other versions of the best-selling 737 series were able to treat the MAX as another in the series. This limited the training requirements for 737 MAX pilots and kept customer costs down. However, in reality, the plane had many new pieces of hardware, including more powerful engines, a redesigned tail, new wing design and, crucially, new software.