Ryanair, the European low-cost airline, said on Tuesday that it had agreed to buy 150 737 Max 10 airplanes, its largest-ever Boeing order. The deal includes an option that would allow the company to buy another 150 jets.
At list prices, 150 planes would sell for more than $20 billion, though Boeing and other manufacturers typically agree to deep discounts for such large orders. Ryanair plans to equip the plane, the largest Max model, with 228 seats, just shy of its maximum capacity. The jets are expected to replace older, smaller and less efficient Boeing planes and be delivered between 2027 and 2033.
Negotiations had previously fallen apart over a disagreement on price, but Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said that he was willing to pay more after taking into account the benefits of the new plane.
“If you look at the fuel performance of this aircraft, we’ll be carrying 21 percent more passengers but burning 20 percent less fuel,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. “So we have a huge revenue upside, a huge cost upside.”
Mr. O’Leary said that the most recent round of talks began with a meeting in January between him and Boeing’s chief executive, Dave Calhoun.
“We kind of agreed the outline terms of the deal in about an hour in Dublin,” Mr. O’Leary said. “Once we both decided we want to get this done, it moved pretty quickly — much faster, I think, than our previous aircraft orders.”
By the time the planes are delivered, Ryanair expects to fly about 300 million passengers annually, more than double the number it flew before the pandemic. In the fiscal year that ended in March 2022, the airline flew 97 million passengers.
The airline serves more than 230 airports in 36 countries across or near Europe. It flies more than 500 aircraft. The new, larger planes will help to reinforce Ryanair’s most popular routes, Mr. O’Leary said.