Ryanair shares inched higher yesterday despite the airline confirming some of its fleet have been taken out of service to repair cracks in its older planes.
However, the airline has dismissed as “rubbish” claims by the Guardian in the UK, that it has grounded three planes due to concerns over wing safety and failed to disclose the problem.
The Guardian reported that Ryanair grounded at least three of its existing Boeing 737s due to ‘pickle fork’ cracks, affecting the component connecting wings to the main body of an aircraft. The cracking problem has, reportedly, affected 50 planes from a number of airlines including Qantas, Korean Air and Southwest.
“[The] report on the ‘pickle fork’ issue in the Guardian newspaper is rubbish. Ryanair has already inspected over 70 of its oldest aircraft in full compliance with the Airworthiness Directive, and our rate of findings is less than the industry-wide 5% confirmed by Boeing recently,” Ryanair said.
The airline said that the “tiny number” of damage findings — on which repairs are being carried out by Boeing — will not affect its operating fleet nor flights, as it has already moved to its winter schedule.
“Ryanair will continue to inspect the remainder of its fleet, in full compliance with the Airworthiness Directive, and we are confident that the tiny number of pickle- fork cracks, if any, will not affect either Ryanair’s fleet, its flights, or its schedules,” the airline said.
Ryanair’s shares rose by over 1.6%.
Earlier this week, the airline said it only expects 20 of its due Boeing 737-Max jets to be delivered next March or April at the earliest, but said the risk of further delay is rising.