Ryanair yesterday unveiled its biggest-ever aircraft order, as one of its top executives said the switch to hydrogen or electric-powered planes will not happen “in my lifetime”.

The budget carrier has agreed a £31.7billion deal with Boeing to buy 150 of the manufacturer’s 737 Max 10 jets, with an option for a further 150.

The Telegraph says the planes will be delivered by Boeing to Ryanair between 2027 and 2034 and be powered by conventional aircraft engines.

Neil Sorahan, Ryanair’s finance chief, who was in Washington to sign the landmark transaction with Boeing, said that the deal was a clear sign of what the decades ahead held for commercial aviation.

The 51-year-old said: “They (hydrogen or electric powered planes) may be the future.

“But I’m not sure they will get there in my lifetime,” he added, before likening hydrogen jets to space rockets that carry a handful of passengers with huge tanks of fuel.


Unlike sustainable aviation fuel, made from used cooking oils and other waste, hydrogen was not a “drop-in solution” and would require “massive investment in the infrastructure”, he went on.

“So I’m afraid it ain’t going to get there.”

Mr Sorahan also said that batteries don’t have the capacity at this stage to get the range that is needed.

Bosses at Ryanair hope that the new plane order will take the airline from carrying an estimated 225million passengers in the year to March 2026 up to 300million by 2034, at which point the carrier would have a fleet of 800 jets.

Mr Sorahan’s remarks followed similar comments by Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary in January.

He said that hydrogen planes are “completely unfeasible” and electric-powered commercial aircraft would not become a reality by 2050.

FTSE 100

The UK's top share index, the FTSE 100, was up nine points at 7,773 shortly after opening this morning, following yesterday's 14-point loss.

Brent crude futures were 0.85% lower at $76.78 a barrel.

Companies reporting today

  • Half-year results: ASOS, Compass Group
  • Second-quarter results: TUI, Walt Disney Co
  • Trading update: Harbour Energy, JD Wetherspoon

More like this…

View all